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Weil, M.P. Katz, M. Hilsenroth, M.J. (2017). Patient and Therapist Perspectives during the Psychotherapy Termination Process: The Role of Participation and Exploration. Psychodyn. Psych., 45(1):23-43.

(2017). Psychodynamic Psychiatry, 45(1):23-43

Patient and Therapist Perspectives during the Psychotherapy Termination Process: The Role of Participation and Exploration

Margot P. Weil, Ph.D., Michael Katz, M.A. and Mark J. Hilsenroth, Ph.D.

Objective: This study was the first to examine psychotherapy termination from both therapists' and patients' perspectives by using standardized psychotherapy process measures. Our aim was to examine whether patient participation and therapist exploration during the termination phase of treatment are related to how good and productive the session was. Method: The sample consisted of 30 outpatient adults who had completed the Vanderbilt Psychotherapy Process Scale-Short form (VPPS-S; Smith, Hilsenroth, Baity, & Knowles, 2003) and the Session Evaluation Questionnaire (SEQ; Stiles, 1980) during a termination-phase session. These ratings were examined from mutually agreed upon terminations with largely successful outcomes. Results: Higher ratings of patient participation, as rated by both the therapist and patient, were significantly related to patient ratings of how good and productive the session was. Mixed findings were shown for therapist exploration. Conclusions: We provide clinical examples and suggestions for future research to illuminate process elements of psychotherapy termination.

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