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Midgley, N. Navridi, E. (2006). An Exploratory Study of Premature Termination in Child Analysis. J. Infant Child Adolesc. Psychother., 5(4):437-458.

(2006). Journal of Infant, Child & Adolescent Psychotherapy, 5(4):437-458

An Exploratory Study of Premature Termination in Child Analysis Related Papers

Nick Midgley and Evanthia Navridi

Dropping out of psychotherapy among children and adolescent is a significant problem affecting 40-60 percent of the cases receiving outpatient care. Many factors have been investigated as possibly contributing to premature termination, but most of the findings were found to be inconsistent and contradictory throughout the literature. The present study is about premature termination in child analysis and includes an audit of the closed files from the period 1999-2003 at the Anna Freud Centre, London, and a qualitative study of five cases that were terminated prematurely. The audit confirmed that the rate of dropout from therapy, when understood to be an ending which is not agreed by all parties, at whatever stage this may be in the treatment-is around 60%. The audit also suggested that there are differences between cases that terminate prematurely or by mutual agreement in relation to gender and average length of therapy, but not in several other respects. The second part of this study, based on a thematic analysis of initial family interviews, discovered a set of themes characteristic of the assessment phase of work with families who were later to withdraw from treatment prematurely. These themes related to the Parents' motivations for entering into therapy, their expectations about treatment, both in terms of its process and outcome, as well as their ability to think about feelings.

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