Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion

2020 Edition
| Editors: David A. Leeming

Therapeutic Alliance

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-24348-7_9376

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...

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Clinical PsychologyUniversity of Massachusetts AmherstAmherstUSA
  2. 2.Clinical Psychology, Department of PsychiatryCambridge Health Alliance/Harvard Medical SchoolCambridgeUSA