New Developments of the Therapeutic Alliance (TA): Good News for Psychodynamic Psychiatry


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written by – Elizabeth L. Auchincloss – Psychodynamic Psychiatry, 44(1) 105-116, 2015

“Clinicians have long known that successful psychotherapy, including successful psychodynamic psychotherapy, depends upon the interaction between therapist and patient.  Everyone knows that without a relationship, there is no treatment; with a poor relationship, interpretations cannot be heard, and the patient cannot get better.”

“Luborsky quickly demonstrated that the therapeutic alliance was the strongest predictor for outcome in psychotherapy (Luborsky 1976, 1994).  Although this effect was first demonstrated in 1976, it has been replicated many times since then, so that the strength of the therapeutic alliance has long been considered the most robust predictor of success in all kinds of psychotherapy (Horvath & Symonds, 1991; Martin et. al, 2000).  Also since 1976, empirical study of the therapeutic alliance (TA) has grown, so that many dozens of papers have been published on the subject focusing on the strength of the TA: in many kinds of psychotherapies, in many settings, in many diagnoses, using many kinds of outcome measures , and looking at various stages of treatment.”



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