Examining the Relationship Between the Therapeutic Bond and the Phases of Treatment Outcome
American Psychological Association
Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, Practice, Training
Examined the association between the therapeutic bond—an element of the therapeutic alliance—and treatment effectiveness. 114 psychotherapy clients completed self-report questionnaires at intake and throughout open-ended, psychodynamically oriented psychotherapy. Three bond scales, role investment (RI), empathic resonance (ER), and mutual affirmation (MA), were contrasted to session quality and the three phases of outcome (remoralization, remediation, and rehabilitation). Results indicated that different aspects of the bond predicted session quality and treatment outcome. Clients who felt motivated and invested in therapy (relatively high RI) and who reported that the therapeutic environment was friendly and affirmative (relatively high MA) were likely to rate the session as being helpful and productive. Clients who had a relatively high sense of understanding and of being understood (ER) experienced greater remoralization and remediation (but not rehabilitation). The results are placed within the context of recent research into the therapeutic alliance.