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Psychotherapy (Chic). 2010 Sep;47(3):418-24. doi: 10.1037/a0021169.

Patient interpersonal impacts and the early therapeutic alliance in interpersonal therapy for depression.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01003-9271, USA.


The therapeutic alliance consistently predicts positive psychotherapy outcomes. Thus, it is important to uncover factors that relate to alliance development. The goal of this study was to examine the association between patient interpersonal characteristics and alliance quality in interpersonal therapy for depression. Data derive from a subsample (n = 74) of a larger naturalistic database of outpatients treated at a mood disorders clinic of a university-affiliated psychiatric hospital. Following Session 3 of treatment, therapists completed the Impact Message Inventory (Kiesler & Schmidt, 1993) to assess patients' interpersonal impacts on them. Also following Session 3, patients completed the Working Alliance Inventory (Horvath & Greenberg, 1989) to assess alliance quality. As predicted, patients' affiliative interpersonal impacts, as perceived by their therapists, were positively associated with alliance quality, controlling for baseline depression severity. Although unrelated to the initial hypotheses, patients concurrently taking psychotropic medications reported better alliances than patients receiving psychotherapy only.

(PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved).

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