The vast majority of theses in this collection are open access and freely available. There are a small number of theses that have access restricted to the WWU campus. For off-campus access to a thesis labeled "Campus Only Access," please log in here with your WWU universal ID, or talk to your librarian about requesting the restricted thesis through interlibrary loan.

Date Permissions Signed


Date of Award

Summer 2020

Document Type

Masters Thesis

Department or Program Affiliation

Experimental Psychology

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

King, Jeff J.

Second Advisor

Bedi, Robinder P.

Third Advisor

Smith, Aaron J.


The present study investigated what incidents adult males believed to have led them to drop out of individual, outpatient psychotherapy within the past four years, utilizing the Enhanced Critical Incident Technique with audio-recorded, Skype interviews and Qualtrics. Participants were 18 men from Bellingham, Seattle, Vancouver (Canada), Houston, Austin, Dallas, Indiana, and Tennessee. Critical Incidents and Wish List items were extracted via structured, open-ended questions. The incidents were organized into categories by two research team members and confirmed from feedback provided during follow-up interviews. The finalized categories of why the men dropped out were labeled the following in descending order of strength: Not the Right Interpersonal Fit, Not the Right Approach, Need to Build Trust, Cost, No Longer Needed, and Time Problems. The finalized categories of what would have helped the men stay were the following in descending order of strength: Change the Approach, Building Rapport, Affordability, Client Engages More, More Availability, and Decided if Needed. Not anticipated, the participants yielded a moderately low level of traditional masculinity ideology (M = 2.90, SD = 0.87) according to the Male Role Norms Inventory–Short Form. The categories can aid psychotherapy researchers in designing measures to attend to men’s needs in order to help reduce the attrition rate, as well as promote further study on whether certain psychotherapy practices are more suited for men, and aid practicing clinicians by providing a clearer understanding and an awareness of potential risk factors that may signal a client with a greater propensity to drop out.




men, counseling, psychotherapy, dropout, ECIT, MRNI-SF


Western Washington University

OCLC Number


Subject – LCSH

Men--Psychology; Men--Counseing of; Dropout behavior, Prediction of; Psychotherapy--Case Studies; Mental health counseling




masters theses




Copying of this document in whole or in part is allowable only for scholarly purposes. It is understood, however, that any copying or publication of this document for commercial purposes, or for financial gain, shall not be allowed without the author’s written permission.

Rights Statement

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

Included in

Psychology Commons