Traditionally, CT has viewed the therapeutic aliance as necessary for effective therapy but has taken the stand that much more than just a good therapeutic alliance is needed for effective treatment. Early discussions of CT emphasized establishing a strong collaborative relationship where therapist and client are working together towards shared goals and where the client is taking an active part. They presumed that a warm, empathic, trusting, accepting relationship is as important for CT as for most other forms of therapy. However, since most of the texts focused on CT's theory and technique, some readers overlooked this and assumed that the therapeutic relationship was unimportant in CT.
The interpersonal aspects of CT have been discussed more explicitly in recent years, particularly in discussions of CT with personality disorders.
In terms of the relationship between therapeutic alliance and therapy outcome, we would predict that a poor therapeutic alliance would predict poor outcome whether or not the technical aspects of CT (as measured by one of the CT checklists) were well done, that a good therapeutic alliance without good CT technique would predict moderately positive outcome, and a good therapeutic alliance in combination with good CT technique would predict the best outcome.
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