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Table 2 Themes and Illustrative Quotes for Dropout Items

From: “I’m not alone, my story matters”: Incarcerated women’s perspectives on the impact and acceptability of group psychotherapy involving imaginal exposure to sexual assault memories

Reasons for Considering Dropping Out

Reasons for Deciding to Stay


Illustrative Quotes


Illustrative Quotes

1. Fear (n = 12)

• “Scared to tell others my story.”

• “I was afraid I was going to stay angry and relapse”a

• “I was overwhelmed with knowing that I would soon have to tell my story. The fear of exposure was almost too much.”

1. Positive anticipation (n = 6)

• “Because I knew it would help me.”

• “Maybe it will help and it did a lot.”

2. Interpersonal concerns (n = 9)

• “I was scared that the group would not keep my story to the group.”a

• “Because I had trust issues.”

• “I didn’t want to be judged by others.”

2. Group environment (n = 5)

• “The support and encouragement of the group.”

• “I just had a trusting easy feeling after I talked to [the group leaders].”

3. Emotions besides fear (n = 6)

• “I knew it was going to hurt”

• “Embarrassment, shame”

• “Because I was feeling feelings I haven’t felt in a long time”

3. Personal empowerment/ determination (n = 5)

• “I am strong and a survivor.”

• “Dedication to myself and my recovery and victory over my experiences.”

4. Miscellaneous responses (n = 4)

• “Thought that my story wasn’t important.”

• “Too much was going on in my life at the moment.”

4. Desire for change (n = 5)

• “I needed to get it off my shoulders.”

• “Fear of not changing, fear of myself.”


5. Miscellaneous responses (n = 3)

• “I made a commitment plus I think it helped me.”

  1. Note: a = multiple themes were judged as applicable to this participant’s response and it was coded in multiple categories