Studies show that 16-77% of psychotherapy patients abandon therapy within the first sessions. The aim of this study is to examine how patient personality variables, specifically the patients’ structural integration and the personality traits dependency and self-criticism, are associated with symptomatic change and therapy dropout.
We analyzed data from 96 patients (age: M = 30.56, SD = 11.39; 78.5% women; 44.6% students, 28.3% employees). A hierarchical logistic regression analysis was carried out to determine whether patients’ structural integration (assessed via the OPD-SQ) and their level of dependency and self-criticism (DEQ) can predict therapy dropout. In addition, a multiple regression was used to analyze how these variables affect symptomatic change (OQ-45.2 symptom subscale).
The interaction of structural integration level and dependency best predicts therapy dropout. For the prediction of symptomatic change, both structural integration and dependency were significant. However, their interaction showed no significant results.
The patient’s structural integration was associated to both symptomatic change and dropout. Therapists’ training should include techniques addressing patients’ structural integration and degree of dependency to prevent patient drop-out from therapy.