International Journal of Cognitive Therapy

, Volume 11, Issue 2, pp 222–233 | Cite as

Therapeutic Alliance and Outcome in Complicated Grief Treatment

  • Kim GlickmanEmail author
  • M. Katherine Shear
  • Melanie M. Wall
Regular Article


In this study, we examined the role of the therapeutic alliance in complicated grief treatment (CGT), an efficacious psychotherapy for complicated grief. Using data from a previously reported randomized controlled trial, we explored whether the alliance–outcome relationship differs by treatment group among treatment completers assigned to either CGT (n = 35) or interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT) (n = 34). Early alliance (at week 4) was associated with a reduction in grief symptoms in CGT but not IPT. The difference in the alliance–outcome relationship was accounted for by goal/task items on the Working Alliance Inventory. The contribution of a positive alliance, particularly the agreement on goals and tasks, may be more significant in CGT, a highly structured treatment, than IPT in reducing symptoms of complicated grief.


Therapeutic alliance Complicated grief treatment Psychotherapy outcome 


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Copyright information

© International Association of Cognitive Psychotherapy 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kim Glickman
    • 1
    Email author
  • M. Katherine Shear
    • 2
  • Melanie M. Wall
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Social Work, School of Health Sciences and Professional ProgramsYork College of the City University of New YorkNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Columbia University School of Social WorkColumbia University College of Physicians and SurgeonsNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.Division of Biostatistics in the Department of Psychiatry, Department of Biostatistics in the Mailman School of Public HealthColumbia UniversityNew YorkUSA

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