Friday, January 11, 2008

Personality and leaving therapy

How people leave group psychotherapy is often as important as what goes on in the sessions. Drop-out is characterized by frequent absences from group sessions and avoidance of the therapist's solicitations. In evasion into health the member resists the group's successful penetration of his/her defences and denies the need for further help claiming that all his/her problems have been solved. In ending of a phase the group member feels that he/she has completed a successful piece of work and is unwilling to proceed further. In saying goodbye, the best possible outcome, the group member announces his/her departure in advance, works towards the definitive date, freely discusses his/her feelings and anticipates the after-therapy period. A Swiss study of 24 older people suffering from depression looked into the links between people's personalities and the quality of their termination from group therapy. The researchers found that neuroticism was not related to the quality of the termination but agreeableness and openness to experience were strongly associated with a successful ending to therapy.

Canuto, Alessandra ... [et al] - Impact of personality on termination of short-term group psychotherapy in depressed elderly outpatients International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry January 2008, 23(1), 22-26

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