Within-patient Perceptions of Alliance and Attunement: Associations with Progress in Psychotherapy

We examined fluctuations of the working alliance measure (WAI), and the newly developed measure of the patients' experiences of attunement and responsiveness (PEAR) during treatment in a naturalistic sample of patients in an outpatient psychotherapy clinic. Multilevel modeling was used to examine the respective contribution of these measures to subsequent improvement in psychological functioning longitudinally. Results suggest that the within-patient effect, instead of between-patient effect, was significant for WAI (and did not reach significance for PEAR), indicating that the fluctuation of WAI was predictive of psychological functioning in the subsequent month. Based on these findings, therapists and their patients might benefit from regular tracking of the patient-reported working alliance. The findings underscore the importance of the alliance, specifically at the within-patient level. It also highlights the challenge for research to tap into other aspects of the therapeutic relationship that can help explain progress in therapy. Given the breadth and accessibility of the working alliance construct, more work is needed for researchers to examine the construct of attunement and responsiveness.PMID:35352860 | DOI:10.1002/cpp.2737
Source: Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy - Category: Psychiatry Authors: Source Type: research