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Approach-Avoidance Attitudes Associated with Initial Therapy Appointment Attendance: A Prospective Study

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  16 June 2014

Elizabeth Murphy
Affiliation:
University of Manchester, UK
Warren Mansell
Affiliation:
University of Manchester, UK
Sally Craven
Affiliation:
University of Manchester, UK
Phil McEvoy
Affiliation:
Six Degrees Social Enterprise CIC, Salford, UK
Corresponding

Abstract

Background: Initial therapy appointments have high nonattendance rates yet the reasons remain poorly understood. Aims: This study aimed to identify positive and negative attitudes towards therapy that predicted initial attendance, informed by a perceptual control theory account of approach-avoidance conflicts in help-seeking. Method: A prospective study was conducted within a low intensity CBT service using first appointment attendance (n = 96) as an outcome. Measures included attitudes towards therapy, depression and anxiety scales, and demographic variables. Results: Endorsement of a negative attitude item representing concern about self-disclosure was independently predictive of nonattendance. Positive attitudes predicted increased attendance, especially endorsement of motives for self-reflection, but only among less depressed individuals. Conclusions: Self-disclosure concerns contribute to therapy avoidance and having goals for self-reflection may represent approach motivation for therapy; however, the latter has less impact among more highly depressed people.

Type
Brief Clinical Reports
Copyright
Copyright © British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies 2014 

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Footnotes

An extended version is also available online in the table of contents for this issue: http://journals.cambridge.org/jid_BCP

References

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