Dr. Dana Atzil-Slonim – Therapeutic Technique Diversity is Linked to Quality of Working Alliance and Client Functioning Following Alliance Ruptures



Objective: The current investigation aimed to examine the possible association between therapists’ flexibility in use of therapeutic techniques from different therapy orientations (i.e. therapeutic technique diversity; TTD) and subsequent improvement in client-reported (a) global functioning, as well as (b) quality of the working alliance, following sessions in which alliance ruptures occurred. Method: Clients (n = 81) who received time-limited psychodynamic therapy in a community clinic, completed session-by-session reports of working alliance and global functioning. Therapists (n=56) completed session-by-session reports of working alliance and their use of therapeutic techniques across different therapeutic orientations, using the Multitheoretical List of Interventions (MULTI-30). Results: We found a curvilinear association between TTD in rupture sessions and client-reported global functioning at the sessions subsequent to rupture sessions, such that moderate levels of TTD were associated with greater subsequent improvement in functioning, compared to low and high levels of TTD. However, TTD was not significantly associated with subsequent changes in the quality of working alliance. Conclusions: Our results suggest that moderate levels of TTD in the face of alliance ruptures are tied to clients’ global functioning improvement during psychodynamic psychotherapy. These findings highlights the importance of further investigation of a varied delivery of therapeutic techniques, especially in the face of alliance ruptures.

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