A review of therapist characteristics and techniques positively impacting the therapeutic alliance

Clin Psychol Rev. 2003 Feb;23(1):1-33. doi: 10.1016/s0272-7358(02)00146-0.


The present review is a comprehensive examination of the therapist's personal attributes and in-session activities that positively influence the therapeutic alliance from a broad range of psychotherapy perspectives. Therapist's personal attributes such as being flexible, honest, respectful, trustworthy, confident, warm, interested, and open were found to contribute positively to the alliance. Therapist techniques such as exploration, reflection, noting past therapy success, accurate interpretation, facilitating the expression of affect, and attending to the patient's experience were also found to contribute positively to the alliance. This review reveals how these therapist personal qualities and techniques have a positive influence on the identification or repair of ruptures in the alliance.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Personality*
  • Professional-Patient Relations*
  • Psychotherapy / methods*
  • Workforce