An exploratory study of relationship of a follow-up letter to client perceptions of the therapeutic alliance and attrition in solution-focused brief family therapy
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Mean attrition rate of 47% in the field of counseling and psychotherapy is also a significant problem in Solution-Focused Brief Family (SFBF) Counseling, indicating a poor therapeutic alliance between the families and the counseling team. Little research has been done on the relationship of a Solution-Focused, handwritten letter and client perceptions of alliance and attrition in SFBF Counseling. This pilot, exploratory, mixed methods design study investigated if a between-session, Solution-Focused personalized letter, mailed to clients, will increase their perceptions of therapeutic alliance and willingness to continue participating in SFBF Therapy. 14 families at the Cleveland Hill Family Resource Center completed the pre and post letter intervention, self-designed rating scales. The attrition rate recorded in the study was 23.53%, which was half of that found in the field. Qualitative results revealed that the brief, SFBF Therapy letter may serve as an adjunct, with a personal touch to the Partners for Change Outcome Management System (Duncan, Miller & Sparks, 2004), supporting and reassuring families as well as enhancing client perceptions of therapeutic alliance and effectiveness of SFBF Counseling.