This study examined differences between clients who did or did not notify mental health providers of intent to discontinue treatment. Clients who did not notify were more likely to be women, attend less than four sessions, and rate their overall functioning lower. Both groups showed significant improvement, and self-reports were found to be a better indicator of progress than counselor estimates. Findings suggested that the adoption of mutual goals and empathetic counselor attitudes toward client treatment expectations might increase staff awareness of satisfied dropouts who have made therapeutic gains. Implications include benefits to staff morale and the larger Community Mental Health Center system in which almost half of all clients discontinue treatment without informing staff.

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