Psychotherapy refusers

Paul C. Mohl, Diane Martinez, Christopher Ticknor, Jane Appleby

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


A systematic review of 414 terminated cases on a semiprivate psychotherapy service revealed that 16.7% of patients nerver began therapy despite being accepted after an extensive and lengthy screening process. This is lower than in previous studies. Except for ethnicity, comparison between the refusers and acceptors of 42 variables failed to replicate the correlations found in previous studies. In our sample, psychotherapy refusers were characterized by (1) having less family psychiatric history, (2) being more likely to elaborate their problems, (3) having less alcohol abuse history, (4) being less likely to be offered long-term individual therapy, and (5) having waited less time for their screening appointment. Such variables as age, gender, diagnosis, severity, income, and education were all nonsignificant. Although we offer some hypotheses for our significant correlations, we suspect that the interaction with the screener is more important than patient variables in determining acceptance of psychotherapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)245-250
Number of pages6
JournalComprehensive Psychiatry
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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