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The Development Of Therapeutic Alliance During Psychological Assessment: Patient And Therapist Perspectives Across Treatment

M. Hilsenroth, E. Peters, S. Ackerman
Published 2004 · Psychology, Medicine

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We examined the impact of patient- and therapist-rated alliance developed during psychological assessment on the subsequent alliance measured early and late in formal psychotherapy. We hypothesized that a working alliance developed during psychological assessment conducted from a collaborative therapeutic model of assessment (TMA; Finn & Tonsager, 1992, 1997; Fischer, 1994) between the patient and therapist would carry into formal psychotherapy. We also hypothesized that alliance for those patients receiving a TMA would be significantly greater than patients receiving psychological testing as usual. To test this hypothesis, we administered the Combined Alliance Short Form-Patient Version (Hatcher & Barends, 1996) and the Combined Alliance Short Form-Therapist Version (Hatcher, 1999) to a sample of outpatients and their therapists at the end of the assessment feedback session, early, and late in psychotherapy. The hypotheses were supported as alliance scales rated at the assessment feedback session demonstrated positive and significant relationships with alliance throughout formal psychotherapy and in relation to a control group. The clinical utility and research implications of these findings are discussed.
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