This course is based upon material published by the Australian Psychological Society and is available as an open access document.
Background: Dropout in youth psychotherapy is high, especially for ethnic minority patients. An important determinant of dropout is the quality of the therapeutic relationship. This study evaluated the association between the therapeutic relationship and dropout in therapy with ethnic minority youth.
Method: Our study was done in a community youth mental health care institution. Seventy patients were included who were dropouts or completers of psychotherapy. The therapeutic relationship was measured with an instrument (i.e., the Child version of the Session Rating Scale (C-SRS)) that was completed each session by the patient. For each patient, the treatment termination status (dropout or completer) was indicated. A General Estimation Equation (GEE) was conducted to indicate whether the course of total C-SRS scores during therapy differed for dropouts and completers.
Results: The course of the scores differed significantly between dropouts and completers. Both groups started with similar scores, but on average, the scores of dropouts decreased during therapy, while the scores of completers increased.
Conclusions: Our results indicate that if there is a drop in the rated quality of the therapeutic relationship (i.e., monitor the difference between the present C-SRS score with the previous scores), the therapist should communicate this with the patient. This could lead to an improvement of the therapeutic relationship and a decrease in dropout.
This course is appropriate for beginning, intermediate and advanced level practitioners who wish to learn more about cultural diversity and ethnic differences in clinical work with adolescents. The course material includes an introduction to the literature and a meta-analysis of studies.
The course is based on a journal article which includes research. As such it contains statistical analysis and data which some clinicians enjoy reading and others do not. One of the benefits of reading research based articles for continuing education is that it allows the practitioner to keep current on the latest findings in their field.
This course is particularly useful for licensed clinicians who require cross cultural continuing education courses for license renewal.
Authors: Haan, Boon, De Jong, Geluk and Vermeiren
Learning Objectives: This course will provide the practitioner with detailed information regarding the therapeutic relationship and dropout in youth with ethnic minority children and adolescents. Specifically, a professional will:
- Identify an instrument that can easily be applied to clinical practice that can measure the quality of the therapeutic relationship.
- Distinguish the importance of the quality of the therapeutic relationship
- Recognize strategies for reducing therapy drop out with ethnic minority patients.
Citation: Haan, Boon, De Jong, Geluk and Vermeiren (2014). Therapeutic relationship and dropout in youth mental health care with ethnic minority children and adolescents. Clinical Psychologist 18 1–9