CHART # 3— AVERAGE TREATMENT RESPONSE CURVE BY L ENGTH OF TREATMENT In addition to the wide range of treatment lengths provided by counseling centers, the manner in which students respond to treatment also varies. To help visualize this, students were first grouped by the total number of counseling sessions they received and the average treatment response curve was then plotted for each treatment length group.
3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 2 SESSION NUMBER
NOTE: Data from 2012-2017. Clients with at least 2 attended individual counseling appointments that expressed high levels of overall distress during their first appointment. N=50,720.
This chart demonstrates some of the problems with over-reliance on aggregate figures, such as average treatment response or treatment length. Specifically, while some students improve very quickly within the first few sessions, others simply need more services to achieve the same level of improvement. This chart further illustrates the problems with an inflexible and/or arbitrarily low session limit. Strict compliance with a rigid policy derived from average treatment length (e.g., a 4-session limit) or average response curve is likely to blunt the potential benefit of treatment by ignoring the fact that students improve at different rates for a wide variety of reasons.
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