Date of Paper


Type of Paper

Clinical research paper

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)


Social Work

First Advisor

Michael Chovanec, Ph.D., LICSW


Social Work


This qualitative study explores factors that influence treatment completion of involuntary clients. Eight professionals who have substantial experience facilitating groups with domestic abuse, substance abuse, DWI, and general offender rehabilitation programs were recruited for participation. Through semi structured interviews, professionals reflected on the factors they believed contributed to attrition and interventions they implemented to improve retention. Thematic content analysis informed by grounded theory generated several themes associated with treatment completion. Motivation, readiness, stage of change, mental health and chemical dependency were individual factors believed to influence completion. While, housing, employment, transportation, child-care, program cost, program time, program length, closed, and open group formats were noteworthy environmental factors. Engagement and facilitator bias were discussed in terms of the impact on retention. Implications for social work practice suggest the need for pre-group orientation, knowledge of Trans theoretical stages of change, and Motivational Interviewing skills to effectively work with treatment resistant clients.

Included in

Social Work Commons