The relationship between therapeutic alliance and outcomes in child and adolescent psychotherapy
Jan 31, 2019
The UK-based “Drug and Alcohol Findings” has published a review analysis of an article published in the journal “Psychotherapy” titled “Meta-analysis of the prospective relation between alliance and outcome in child and adolescent psychotherapy”. The alliance between therapist and client has long been identified as crucial to positive outcomes. The three important elements of the therapeutic alliance include a warm emotional bond, agreement on the goals of therapy, and agreement on the “tasks” or ways of achieving those goals. Children and young people are often persuaded into therapy by adults who feel that they will benefit, making the job of developing a strong therapeutic alliance more difficult. In this review, a meta-analysis is described which looked at a number of different problem domains, including substance use and eating disorders among others. The review found different degrees of effect, with significant variation between studies, making conclusions difficult to draw. One interesting finding was that the alliance developed between the parent / carer was as closely related to positive outcomes as the alliance between the therapist and the young person.