The therapeutic alliance and its relationship to alcoholism treatment participation and outcome

J Consult Clin Psychol. 1997 Aug;65(4):588-98. doi: 10.1037//0022-006x.65.4.588.


The relationship between the therapeutic alliance and treatment participation and drinking outcomes during and after treatment was evaluated among alcoholic outpatient and aftercare clients. In the outpatient sample, ratings of the working alliance, whether provided by the client or therapist, were significant predictors of treatment participation and drinking behavior during the treatment and 12-month posttreatment periods, after a variety of other sources of variance were controlled. Ratings of the alliance by the aftercare clients did not predict treatment participation or drinking outcomes. Therapists ratings of the alliance in the aftercare sample predicted only percentage of days abstinent during treatment and follow-up. The results document the independent contribution of the therapeutic alliance to treatment participation and outcomes among alcoholic outpatients.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aftercare / statistics & numerical data
  • Alcoholism / therapy*
  • Ambulatory Care / statistics & numerical data
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Cooperative Behavior*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Object Attachment*
  • Outcome and Process Assessment, Health Care
  • Patient Compliance*
  • Professional-Patient Relations*
  • Psychotherapy* / methods
  • Psychotherapy* / standards
  • Regression Analysis
  • Treatment Outcome