THE RELATIONSHIP OF EARLY ALLIANCE RUPTURES AND THEIR RESOLUTION TO PROCESS AND OUTCOME IN THREE TIME-LIMITED PSYCHOTHERAPIES FOR PERSONALITY DISORDERS

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Abstract

This study examined the relationship of early alliance ruptures and their resolution to process and outcome in a sample of 128 patients randomly assigned to 1 of 3 time-limited psychotherapies for personality disorders: cognitive-behavioral therapy, brief relational therapy, or short-term dynamic psychotherapy. Rupture intensity and resolution were assessed by patient- and therapist-report after each of the first 6 sessions. Results indicated that lower rupture intensity and higher rupture resolution were associated with better ratings of the alliance and session quality. Lower rupture intensity also predicted good outcome on measures of interpersonal functioning, while higher rupture resolution predicted better retention. Patients reported fewer ruptures than did therapists. In addition, fewer ruptures were reported in cognitive-behavioral therapy than in the other treatments.

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