International Journal of Cognitive Therapy

, Volume 11, Issue 2, pp 158–183 | Cite as

Defining the Role and Function of the Therapeutic Relationship in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: a Modified Delphi Panel

  • Nikolaos KazantzisEmail author
  • Frank M. Dattilio
  • Lata K. McGinn
  • Cory F. Newman
  • Jacqueline B. Persons
  • Adam S. Radomsky
Special Issue on Socratic Dialogue


While it is accepted that therapeutic relationship is a necessary condition for cognitive behavior therapy (CBT), the way a therapist adapts to that relationship based on the case formulation has not been clearly articulated. In addition, the direct effects of the therapeutic relationship and its elements require further empirical study. Achieving expert consensus on the roles and function for the therapeutic relationship is important for training, supervision, accreditation, as well as the next generation of research examining whether treatment processes are wholly or partially dependent upon in-session processes. This article summarizes the findings, conclusions, and recommendations of an expert panel on these features of the therapeutic relationship in order to identify potentially fruitful avenues for future research.


Cognitive behavioral therapy Therapeutic relationship Delphi Panel 



Mathew E. Stuckey is acknowledged for comments on a previous version of this manuscript.

Funding Information

The authors acknowledge the scientific committee of the 8th International Congress of Cognitive Psychotherapy held in Hong Kong, 24–27 June 2014, who supported this expert panel


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Copyright information

© International Association of Cognitive Psychotherapy 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nikolaos Kazantzis
    • 1
    Email author
  • Frank M. Dattilio
    • 2
  • Lata K. McGinn
    • 3
  • Cory F. Newman
    • 4
  • Jacqueline B. Persons
    • 5
  • Adam S. Radomsky
    • 6
  1. 1.Cognitive Behavior Therapy Research Unit, School of Psychological Sciences and Monash Institute of Cognitive and Clinical NeurosciencesMonash UniversityMelbourneAustralia
  2. 2.Harvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  3. 3.Yeshiva UniversityNew YorkUSA
  4. 4.University of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA
  5. 5.Cognitive and Behavior Therapy and Science CenterOaklandUSA
  6. 6.Concordia UniversityMontréalCanada

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