Contemporary Family Therapy

, Volume 27, Issue 1, pp 19–35 | Cite as

Influence of Therapist and Client Behaviors on Therapy Alliance

  • Sarah Elizabeth Gellhaus Thomas
  • Ronald Jay Werner-Wilson
  • Megan J. Murphy


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.


therapeutic alliance gender couple negativity therapist activity marital therapy family therapy 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sarah Elizabeth Gellhaus Thomas
    • 1
  • Ronald Jay Werner-Wilson
    • 1
  • Megan J. Murphy
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Human Development and Family StudiesAnastasi Counseling Iowa State UniversityMason CityUSA

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