Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Elwin Nielsen


The purpose of this research was to assess the effects of a pre-therapy client orientation on clients admitted to a mental health center. A secondary purpose was to develop an effective and brief audio-visual orientation that would positively influence clients in therapy. It was hypothesized that a pre-therapy orientation would significantly reduce client no shows and cancellations, increase client fee payment, increase client level of psychological functioning, and increase client satisfaction with mental health services. None of the four hypotheses was supported by the research. A questionnaire filled out by the therapists involved in the study, after the data were collected, revealed that all of the therapists oriented their clients to therapy to varying degrees. This may account, in part, for the lack of results. Implications for future research suggest investigation into the development and evaluation of training programs for individual therapists to orient their clients in the most systematic, optimal fashion. Research should also focus on the magnitude of change after a pre-therapy orientation and the development of instruments of sufficient sensitivity to detect that change.



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