What Is Therapeutic Alliance?
The concept of the therapeutic alliance originated in psychoanalytic theories (e.g., Freud 1912/1958, 1913; Greenson 1965). Now it has become a pan-theoretic concept (Ackerman and Hilsenroth 2003). Therapeutic alliance is broadly defined as the overall bond between therapist and client evolving during the process of therapy (Horvath et al. 2011). Although there are different conceptualizations of therapeutic alliance, three often-highlighted aspects include patient’s and therapist’s ability to agree on treatment goals and tasks, the collaborative nature of the relationship, and the affective bond between patient and therapist (Bordin 1979; Gaston 1990; Horvath and Symonds 1991; Saunders et al. 1989).
What Can We Learn About Therapeutic Alliance from Different Theoretical Orientations?
Different theoretical orientations in psychotherapy, such as psychoanalytic, psychodynamic, humanistic, and cognitive, have contributed to our understanding of therapeutic...
- American Counseling Association. (2014). ACA code of ethics. Alexandria: Author.Google Scholar
- Freud, S. (1913). On the beginning of treatment: Further recommendations on the technique of psychoanalysis. In J. Strachey (Ed. & Trans.), The standard edition of the complete psychological works of Sigmund Freud (pp. 122–144). London: Hogarth Press.Google Scholar
- Freud, S. (1958). The dynamics of transference. In J. Starchey (Ed.), The standard edition of the complete psychological works of Sigmund Freud (pp. 99–108). London: Hogarth Press. (Original work published 1912).Google Scholar
- Henry, W. P., & Strupp, H. H. (1994). The therapeutic alliance as interpersonal process. In A. O. Horvath & L. S. Greenberg (Eds.), The working alliance: Theory, research and practice (pp. 51–84). New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
- Karver, M. S., Handelsman, J. B., Fields, S., & Bickman, L. (2006). Meta-analysis of therapeutic relationship variables in youth and family therapy: The evidence for different relationship variables in the child and adolescent treatment outcome literature. Clinical Psychology Review, 26(1), 50–65.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Koenig, H. G. (2007). Spirituality in patient care (2nd ed., pp. 161–174). Philadelphia: Templeton Foundation Press.Google Scholar
- Krupnick, J. L., Sotsky, S. M., Simmens, S., Moyer, J., Elkin, I., Watkins, J., & Pilkonis, P. A. (1996). The role of the therapeutic alliance in psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy outcome: Findings in the National Institute of Mental Health Treatment of Depression Collaborative Research Program. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 64(3), 532–539.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Safran, J. D., Muran, J. C., Samstag, L. W., & Stevens, C. (2002). Repairing alliance ruptures. In J. C. Norcorss (Ed.), Psychotherapy relationships that work (pp. 235–254). New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Stiles, W. B., Glick, M. J., Osatuke, K., Hardy, G. E., Shapiro, D. A., Agnew-Davies, R., Rees, A., & Barkham, M. (2004). Patterns of alliance development and the rupture-repair hypothesis: Are productive relationships U-shaped or V-shaped? Journal of Counseling Psychology, 51(1), 81–92.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Strauss, J. L., Hayes, A. M., Johnson, S. L., Newman, C. F., Brown, G. K., Barber, J. P., Laurenceau, J., & Beck, A. T. (2006). Early alliance, alliance ruptures, and symptom change in a nonrandomized trial of cognitive therapy for avoidant and obsessive-compulsive personality disorders. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 74(2), 337–345.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Thurer, S., & Hursch, N. (1981). Characteristics of the therapeutic relationship. Clinical practice of psychology, 62–82.Google Scholar