Creating a Safety Net: Transferring To a New Therapist In a Training Setting

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Child and Family Studies


Transferring clients to new therapists is a common necessity in training settings, agencies, and private practices. However, there is a paucity of empirical studies that examine the process of client transfer and its impact on the client. This qualitative study explored the experience of clients who had successfully transferred from graduating practicum students to incoming practicum students in a COAMFTE accredited MFT master program in the southeastern region of the US. The resultant grounded theory consisted of a central category (Creating a Safety Net), a paradigm (Professionalism), and two main categories (Structure and Trust). Clients described an overall process of initial disclosure of the pending transfer, their affective response, the therapist’s response, a period of co-therapy with incoming and outgoing therapists, and continuation of therapy with the new therapist.

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