Defining treatment completion according to patient competency: A case example using brief cognitive behavioral therapy (BCBT) for suicidal patients


Treatment completion (commonly referred to as termination) is a routine and essential component of the treatment process. Although the relevant literature has discussed how to complete treatment, much less discussion and guidance exists regarding when, and under what conditions, treatment should be considered complete. The current article reviews various approaches to defining treatment completion, identifying three general patterns within the psychotherapy literature: clinician judgment, patient outcomes, and number of sessions attended. We propose defining treatment completion in terms of patient skill mastery and competency, and provide an overview of how patient competency is used to define treatment progress and completion within Brief Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for suicidal patients. © 2012 American Psychological Association.

Publication Title

Professional Psychology: Research and Practice