1st Edition

The Therapeutic Alliance
An Evidence-Based Guide to Practice

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ISBN 9781606238738
Published October 5, 2010 by Guilford Press
368 Pages

USD $51.00

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Book Description

This state-of-the-art book presents research-based practice guidelines that clinicians of any orientation can use to optimize the therapeutic alliance. Leading proponents of the major psychotherapeutic approaches explain just what a good alliance is, how to create it, and how to recognize and repair alliance ruptures. Applications in individual, group, couple, and family therapy are explored; case examples vividly illustrate the concepts and techniques. Links between the quality of the alliance and client outcomes are elucidated. A section on training fills a major gap in the field, reviewing proven strategies for helping therapists to develop key relationship-building skills.

Table of Contents

An Introduction: Establishing the Context and Rationale, J. Christopher Muran and Jacques P. Barber
I. Critical Studies of the Therapeutic Alliance
1. Alliance Theory and Measurement, Robert L. Hatcher
2. The Validity of the Alliance as a Predictor of Psychotherapy Outcome, Jacques P. Barber, Shabad-Ratan Khalsa, and Brian A. Sharpless
3. The Alliance over Time, William B. Stiles and Jacob Z. Goldsmith
4. Qualitative Studies of Negative Experiences in Psychotherapy, Clara E. Hill
5. Alliance Ruptures and Resolution, Catherine Eubanks-Carter, J. Christopher Muran, and Jeremy D. Safran
II. Practice and the Therapeutic Alliance
6. A Psychodynamic Perspective on the Therapeutic Alliance: Theory, Research, and Practice, Stanley B. Messer and David L. Wolitzky
7. An Interpersonal Perspective on Therapy Alliances and Techniques, Lorna Smith Benjamin and Kenneth L. Critchfield
8. The Therapeutic Alliance in Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, Louis G. Castonguay, Michael J. Constantino, Andrew A. McAleavey, and Marvin R. Goldfried
9. A Functional Analytic Psychotherapy (FAP) Approach to the Therapeutic Alliance, Mavis Tsai, Robert J. Kohlenberg, and Jonathan W. Kanter
10. The Therapeutic Alliance in Humanistic Psychotherapy, Jeanne C. Watson and Freda Kalogerakos
11. Therapeutic Alliances in Couple Therapy: The Web of Relationships, Adam O. Horvath, Dianne Symonds, and Luis Tapia
12. Therapeutic Alliances and Alliance Building in Family Therapy, Valentín Escudero, Laurie Heatherington, and Myrna L. Friedlander
13. The Therapeutic Alliance in Group Therapy, William E. Piper and John S. Ogrodniczuk
III. Training Programs on the Therapeutic Alliance
14. Developing Skills in Managing Negative Process, Jeffrey L. Binder and William P. Henry
15. Training in Alliance-Fostering Techniques, Paul Crits-Christoph, Katherine Crits-Christoph, and Mary Beth Connolly Gibbons
16. Developing Therapist Abilities to Negotiate Alliance Ruptures, J. Christopher Muran, Jeremy D. Safran, and Catherine Eubanks-Carter
17. Coda: Recommendations for Practice and Training, Brian A. Sharpless, J. Christopher Muran, and Jacques P. Barber

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J. Christopher Muran, PhD, is Associate Dean and Professor at the Derner Institute of Advanced Psychological Studies and Director of the Psychotherapy Research Program at Beth Israel Medical Center. His research and publications have concentrated on developing intervention and training models relating to the therapeutic alliance. Dr. Muran is a fellow of the American Psychological Association and coeditor of the journal Psychotherapy Research.

Jacques P. Barber, PhD, ABPP, is Professor and Dean of the Derner Institute of Advanced Psychological Studies at Adelphi University. He is also Emeritus Professor of Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry and in the Psychology Graduate Group at the University of Pennsylvania, where he was formerly Associate Director of the Center for Psychotherapy Research, and Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry at New York University School of Medicine. His research focuses on the outcome and process of psychodynamic and cognitive therapies for depression, panic disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, substance dependence, and personality disorders. He has published more than 225 papers, chapters and books in the field of psychotherapy and personality, including The Therapeutic Alliance: An Evidence-Based Guide to Practice, coedited with J. Christopher Muran. Dr. Barber is past president of the Society for Psychotherapy Research and a recipient of its Distinguished Research Career Award.


"Muran and Barber have assembled a truly all-star cast to address one of the most significant elements in the entire realm of psychotherapy. Representing all of the major theoretical orientations in our field, and demonstrating both clinical sophistication and keen attention to systematic research, these authors show that taking research evidence seriously implies a far broader range of topics and methodologies than are embodied in the restrictive emphasis on testing 'brand-name' packages of manualized treatments or in the rhetoric of 'empirically supported treatments.'"--Paul L. Wachtel, PhD, CUNY Distinguished Professor, Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology, City College and the Graduate Center, City University of New York
"This book provides an invaluable and comprehensive review of the state of the evidence on what is arguably the most important common factor to therapy outcome--the therapeutic alliance. Each chapter is written by the leading experts in the field. In addition to excellent chapters on measurement, prediction, change over time, negative experiences, and repair of alliance ruptures, the volume includes important chapters from psychodynamic, interpersonal, cognitive and behavioral, and other perspectives. If you were to buy only one book on psychotherapy this year, you would be hard-pressed to find a better alternative!"--Michael E. Thase, MD, Department of Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania
"This is a great book, edited by highly esteemed experts and featuring contributions by the best conceivable authors for this topic. The most current empirical evidence on the therapeutic alliance is reviewed, but the book's greatest value for psychotherapy practitioners, trainers, and trainees of any orientation resides in its recommendations for practice. I highly recommend this volume for anyone who wishes to learn how to establish and improve a therapeutic alliance."--Franz Caspar, PhD, Department of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, University of Bern, Switzerland 

"Drawing together leading contributors to psychotherapy research, training, and practice, Muran and Barber provide an unparalleled opportunity to develop a critically balanced, research-informed understanding of key factors that contribute to productive therapeutic alliances in differing therapy approaches. I have no doubt that this book will become an 'instant classic' in the field of psychotherapy, one that will continue to shape alliance research and practice in the years to come."--Lynne E. Angus, PhD, CPsych, Adult Clinical Psychology Graduate Program, York University, Canada