Document Type




Format of Original

17 p.

Publication Date



Taylor & Francis (Routledge)

Source Publication

Psychotherapy Research

Source ISSN



The authors propose that if therapists and clients process their therapeutic relationship (i.e., directly address in the here and now feelings about each other and about the inevitable problems that emerge in the therapy relationship), feelings will be expressed and accepted, problems will be resolved, the relationship will be enhanced, and clients will transfer their learning to other relationships outside of therapy. The authors review theories supporting the idea of processing the therapeutic relationship, discuss the relevant empirical literature in this area, and provide their conceptualization of the construct of processing the therapeutic relationship based on the theory and empirical findings. Finally, they discuss methodological concerns and suggest implications for clinical practice, training, and further research.


Accepted version. Psychotherapy Research, Vol. 19, No. 1 (January 2009): 13-29. DOI. © 2009 Taylor & Francis. Used with permission.

This article was invited because Clara E. Hill received the Distinguished Career Award and Sarah Knox received the Early Career Award of the Society of Psychotherapy Research.

Senior and Early Career Award Paper