The Therapeutic Alliance: How Clients Categorize Client-Identified Helpful Factors




Simpson, Arlene Joyce

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This study examined the client's perspective of the therapeutic alliance using written statements collected from clients in a previous study (Bedi & Duff, 2008). The 125 statements describe factors clients believe to be fundamental in the development of a strong alliance with their counsellor. Fifty participants sorted the statements into thematically similar piles and then gave each pile of statements a title. Multivariate concept mapping statistical methods (The Concept Systems, 2008, Version 4) were used to obtain the most representative sort across participants. The resulting 14 categories and associated ratings for helpfulness (on the scale of 1-5) are represented on scaled Concept Maps. Category titles selected arc: Emotional Support, Ability to Relate, Sharing the Counsellor's Personal Experience, Good Boundaries, Interpersonal Demeanour, Body Language, Provided Resources and Homework, Availability, Planning and Approach, Directed Process Appropriately, Attentiveness, Approachable, Non-Judgemental, and Effective Listening. Female and male helpfulness evaluations were not statistically significantly different.



counsellors, counselors, therapeutic, alliance