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Psychology and Mental Health

Chicago, USA
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Relation between working alliance and outcome in psychotherapy: A meta-analysis

Author(s): Horvath AO, Symonds BD

Abstract

Results of 24 studies (based on 20 distinct data sets) relating the quality of the working alliance (WA) to therapy outcome were synthesized using meta-analytic procedures. A moderate but reliable association between good WA and positive therapy outcome was found. Overall, the quality of the WA was most predictive of treatment outcomes based on clients' assessments, less so of therapists' assessments, and least predictive of observers' report. Clients' and observers' rating of the WA appear to be more correlated with all types of outcomes reported than therapists' ratings. The relation of WA and outcome does not appear to be a function of the type of therapy practiced, the length of treatment, whether the research is published, or the number of participants in the study.

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