Counsellor contributions to the therapeutic alliance: From the client's perspective




Duff, Carlton T.

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A concept known as the therapeutic alliance has been shown to be a robust predictor of counselling outcome. However, the specific counsellor behaviours that relate to the alliance have not been clearly identified, and few prior attempts to identify these variables have been based on client-derived conceptualizations of the alliance. 51 adult clients participated in a cross-sectional study of the relationship between 15 client-identified counsellor behaviours and the strength of the therapeutic alliance. Results indicated that 11 of the 15 behaviours were moderately to strongly correlated with the strength of the alliance, and that two behaviours (i.e., making positive comments about the client and greeting the client with a smile) significantly predicted the strength of the alliance. The findings support the hypothesis that client-identified behaviours are related to and predict alliance; however, some discrepancy remains between the present results and prior research. Implications are discussed and future research is suggested.



counselling, therapeutic alliance, psychotherapy, counsellor behaviours