patients attend therapy differently: An exploration of private psychology practice
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One in every four people will experience a mental health problem in their life. This morbidity means the most effective and efficient forms of psychotherapy are in high demand, but patient preferences have been over-looked with regards to psychotherapy treatment parameters. Treatment parameters are largely traditional and have emerged from financial and logistical restrictions. Treatment success is mostly based on outcome measures of symptom intensity, which patients may not necessarily see as the biggest problem. Indeed, research has shown that patients typically attend fewer sessions than a treatment is designed for. In the current study, two-hundred closed case files were analysed, from a private psychology practice which allows patients to dictate their own treatment lengths and periodicity. Patients were varied in how they attended therapy, with most attending far fewer sessions than dictated by studies based on the Dose-Response Model of therapy. The findings were more in line with the Good Enough Level model. Contrary to previous evidence, diagnosis was not found to result in different lengths and periodicities of therapy between patients. The current study gives a realistic overview of what is seen in private psychology practice, where patients dictate their own treatment parameters. An argument is made for the necessity to put patient preferences at the forefront when deciding on psychotherapy parameters.