Therapeutic Alliance Researchers’ Perspectives on Alliance-Centered Training Practices

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Abstract

Although the therapeutic alliance is an evidence-based psychotherapy element, scant literature exists on best practices for alliance-focused training. This qualitative study explored the perspectives of 10 psychotherapy alliance researchers on current and ideal alliance-centered training approaches. Data derived from interview transcripts of the proceedings of 2 semistructured discussions at professional conferences. Results indicated that most participants viewed current alliance training as unstructured, while also expressing an interest in developing a more structured, gold standard approach. Participants also highlighted the psychotherapist’s role in alliance development and the importance of clinicians’ personal improvement strategies. Little consensus emerged concerning barriers to ideal alliance-training practices.

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