Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

Randall H. Best


A serious problem encountered in clinical practice concerns the large proportion of clients who begin therapy but for various reasons terminate treatment after only a few interviews and without the consent of the therapist. Representative studies by Kurland (1956), Haddock and Mensch (1957), and Rosenthal and Frank (1958) have emphasized the severity of this problem by indicating that most mental health clinics face the possibility of losing half of their therapy clients prematurely.

This problem necessitates some objective means for identifying potential terminators and remainers prior to their entering therapy. Such a technique would permit a more efficient utilization of clinical services and a more economic delegation of time and costs for the client himself.

A number of client variables have been found to consistently differentiate between terminators and remainers (Bergin and Garfield, 1971). These variables have been incorporated in the Social History Questionnaire (SHQ), a paper and pencil intake inventory (Best, 1971).

The present study was designed to construct a Terminator-Remainer scale using those items of the SHQ that best differentiated between the Terminators and Remainers.

Ss were 95 outpatients who had completed the SHQ. Ss were divided into two groups, Terminators and Remainers, according to their duration of stay in psychotherapy. The two groups were then compared in terms of their responses to the SHQ. Of 393 SHQ items, 23 were found to differentiate between the two groups. These 23 items were then combined into a subscale and norms for the entire sample were established.