Strategies for preparing clients for treatment: A review

TitleStrategies for preparing clients for treatment: A review
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1999
AuthorsWalitzer, KS, Dermen, KH, Connors, GJ
JournalBehavior Modification
Date PublishedJan
Publication Languageeng
ISBN Number0145-4455 (Print)0145-4455 (Linking)
Accession Number9926524
Keywords*Motivation, Behavior Therapy/*methods, Cognitive Therapy/*methods, Female, Humans, Interview, Psychological/methods, Male, Patient Acceptance of Health Care/*psychology, Patient Dropouts/psychology, Patient Education as Topic/methods, Patient Participation, Treatment Refusal/psychology

Substantial numbers of mental health clients do not return following their initial therapy visits or drop out of treatment prematurely. Two general classes of strategies designed to reduce premature attrition and enhance treatment participation are reviewed. Research on psychotherapy preparatory techniques (role induction, vicarious therapy pretraining, and experiential pretraining) indicates that these educational techniques are effective in reducing early treatment attrition and may be especially effective with populations at high risk for dropout (e.g., lower socioeconomic groups, chronically mentally ill clients, and institutionalized juvenile delinquents). Motivational interviewing, a technique originally developed for clients with alcohol problems, is designed to reduce client ambivalence toward therapy and change and enhance commitment to and motivation for treatment. Research in the alcohol field suggests that a session of pretreatment motivational interviewing enhances treatment outcome. Both motivational interviewing and psychotherapy preparatory techniques are relatively brief and easy to incorporate into existing mental health care.

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