Patients Not Completing Treatment

© Helen Lesser, 2018


Every once in a while a therapist will bring up a concern about the amount of patients who don’t complete treatment.

In order to begin to address this issue, it is necessary to know how much of an issue it really is!  When first starting out in practice it may be that you are not seeing many people in a week so it can be difficult to tell whether this is ‘natural attrition’ or whether there really is something going on which needs to be addressed.  This means the first thing you need to do is to compile some statistics.

As a professional therapist it is likely that you already keep some kind of statistics which you can use in the following exercises; if not, you will need to go back through your records to compile them.

The following will help you find out where the issues are arising and how to address them.

  1. Percentages – What is ‘normal’?
  2. No Shows
  3. No Returns
  4. Mid-treatment Stops
  5. Areas to Consider
  6. Additional Reasons for Stopping


In a given period, out of all the people who came to see you, what is the percentage of people who do not complete treatment?

According to the research across all therapies, a figure of


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HelenLesser has written 303 articles