Objective: Although the clinical significance of the therapeutic alliance (TA) is well documented, the literature regarding the establishment of TA and the relation between client–therapist agreement on it to short-term outcome among various diagnostic groups—and specifically among clients diagnosed with serious mental illness (SMI)—is sparse. The aim of the present study was to examine the effect of client diagnosis on the abovementioned TA characteristics. Method: Dyadic analyses of session-by-session (SBS) data were used to compare clients diagnosed with schizophrenia and clients diagnosed with emotional disorders (based on a clinical interview) in their TA characteristics. Results: TA as initially rated by clients was stronger in the emotional disorders group than in the schizophrenia group. Higher TA ratings, regardless of whether these were provided by the therapist or the client, predicted better subsequent functioning in the emotional disorders group, whereas in the schizophrenia group, this association was observed only among good-outcome cases. Conclusions: Establishing TA, having client–therapist agreement on it, and having clients derive therapeutic benefit from it might be more challenging with clients with schizophrenia than with clients with emotional disorders. Special attention should be given to specific challenges and needs regarding clients' diagnosis in order to enhance favourable therapy outcomes.
|Number of pages||15|
|Journal||Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice|
|Early online date||4 Sep 2023|
|State||Published - Dec 2023|
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2023 The British Psychological Society.
- emotional disorders
- short-term outcome
- therapeutic alliance