Jefferies, Natalie (2012)
Clin.Psy.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.
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Restricted to Repository staff only until 31 December 2082.
Restricted to Repository staff only until 31 December 2022.
There is a sound evidence base on the effects of the therapeutic alliance on outcome in psychotherapy for adults. In comparison, there is a smaller amount of literature on the effects of the therapeutic alliance on outcomes for adolescents. Adolescents rarely are seen individually for therapy and instead are often seen by family therapists as part of a system with other members of the family. At present, it is uncertain what the effects of the therapeutic alliance on outcome for adolescents in family therapy are. This paper presents a systematic review that aims to investigate the effects of the therapeutic alliance on outcome in adolescents in family therapy and what factors influence the therapeutic alliance with adolescents in family therapy.
A systematic review of electronic databases was carried out using a quality assurance checklist adapted from the American Academy of Neurology Clinical Practice Guidelines (2004). This checklist was used as it assessed aspects of the studies’ theoretical basis, design, measures, analysis and results. Eleven studies met the inclusion criteria and were reviewed.
The findings of this review suggest that the therapeutic alliance affects outcome for adolescents in family therapy. The presence of identifiable features of the therapeutic alliance, such as task, goal and bond can strengthen the therapeutic alliance with adolescents.
Research into this area is still in its preliminary stages. However, important factors have been identified that affect outcome. Further research is necessary before more substantial claims of the therapeutic alliance on outcome can be made. The limitations of this review are presented, followed by clinical, training and supervision implications and suggestions for future research.
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