• Entry
  • Reader's guide
  • Entries A-Z
  • Subject index

Therapeutic Alliance

Therapeutic alliance refers to the working relationship that exists between the therapist and the client. The most common definition of therapeutic alliance is the one by Edward Bordin. It describes the therapeutic alliance as having three interdependent components: (1) goal, (2) task, and (3) bond. Other theorists and researchers, however, may emphasize different aspects of the alliance. The term therapeutic alliance is often used interchangeably with the terms therapeutic relationship, working relationship, and working alliance.

Goal

The first task in the forming of a therapeutic alliance is reaching a shared understanding of the goals of treatment. According to Bordin’s theory, the goal pertains to both the defined target problems and the desired outcome of treatment. It may include varied goals such as symptom reduction, life enhancement, fostering ...

    • Loading...
    locked icon

    Sign in to access this content

    Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

    • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
    • Read modern, diverse business cases
    • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles