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Fam Process. 1993 Sep;32(3):353-75.

Dropping out of marriage and family therapy: a critical review of research.

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  • 1Marriage and Family Therapy Program, University of San Diego, School of Education, CA 92110-2492.


The lack of attention given to research on the premature termination by clients in marriage and family therapy is evident in research reviews of the dropout phenomenon in psychotherapy. This article is an attempt to fill that void. The research literature on dropping out of family therapy is reviewed and organized. Studies in this area tend to focus on four kinds of variables: client characteristics, therapist characteristics, therapy process variables, and interventions. Stable findings in each of these areas are pointed out. Both limitations and recommendations for future research are discussed.

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