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Cognitive Psychotherapy and the Therapeutic Alliance

Cognitive Psychotherapy and the Therapeutic Alliance

The therapeutic alliance is maintained between the therapist and client by interplay and maintenance of the three main components: goals; bonds; and tasks.  Each aspect of the therapeutic alliance is vital to a successful outcome in therapy and the therapist must work to maintain the components throughout his work.

GOALS  It is considered that a good therapeutic outcome is facilitated when the therapist and client agree to work towards the fulfilment of certain goals.  Some of the goals will be explicit, others implicit.  They may also change during therapy or become better understood.

BONDS  The bond that is made between therapist and client enables the therapy to proceed.  As it is the role of the therapist to promote this bonding, it is important to know which aspects of behaviour promote bonding and which are destructive to the process.  All the things you, as the therapist, say and do will be interpreted by the client in some way.  You should aim to modify your actions, including what you say, to include more positive and less negative features.

TASKS  An important aspect of the alliance concerns the tasks or activities which are carried out by both therapist and client which are goal directed in nature.  Some of the tasks may seem more like techniques whereas others may be specific and appear routine.


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