Therapist characteristics were explored as possible predictors of working alliance, rated early and later in therapy both by therapists (n=59) and patients (n=270) in an ongoing multisite project on process and outcome of psychotherapy. Patients and therapists had divergent perspectives on the working alliance. Therapists' experience, training, skill, and progress as therapists did not have any significant impact on alliance as rated by patients. Training and skill were positively related to alliance as rated by therapists. Interpersonal relationships on the cold-warm dimension had a moderate impact for both patients' and therapists' alliance ratings. Some implications for therapist training are discussed.