Influence of therapist and client behaviors on therapy alliance

Sarah Elizabeth Gellahus Thomas, Ronald Jay Werner-Wilson, Megan J. Murphy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


This study considers the combined effect of therapist behaviors and couples' interaction dynamics on therapeutic alliance because it seems to be a significant predictor of successful therapy outcomes. We measured therapeutic alliance using the Working Alliance Inventory Observer Version (WAI-O) which includes three subscales: goals tasks and bond. We investigated the combined effect of therapist behaviors and couples interactions on therapeutic alliance. There were three significant findings: (1) the models better predicted therapeutic alliance for men clients than women clients; (2) combined consideration of partner behaviors and therapist behaviors provided the stronger prediction of therapeutic alliance; and (3) different variables predicted alliance for women clients versus men clients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-35
Number of pages17
JournalContemporary Family Therapy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2005


  • Couple negativity
  • Family therapy
  • Gender
  • Marital therapy
  • Therapeutic alliance
  • Therapist activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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