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J Consult Clin Psychol. 2000 Feb;68(1):114-24.

Relation of therapeutic alliance and perfectionism to outcome in brief outpatient treatment of depression.

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Department of Psychology, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.


Prior analyses of the National Institute of Mental Health Treatment of Depression Collaborative Research Program demonstrated that perfectionism was negatively related to outcome, whereas both the patient's perception of the quality of the therapeutic relationship and the patient contribution to the therapeutic alliance were positively related to outcome across treatment conditions (S. J. Blatt, D. C. Zuroff, D. M. Quinlan, & P. A. Pilkonis, 1996; J. L. Krupnick et al., 1996). New analyses examining the relations among perfectionism, perceived relationship quality, and the therapeutic alliance demonstrated that (a) the patient contribution to the alliance and the perceived quality of the therapeutic relationship were independent predictors of outcome, (b) perfectionistic patients showed smaller increases in the Patient Alliance factor over the course of treatment, and (c) the negative relation between perfectionism and outcome was explained (mediated) by perfectionistic patients' failure to develop stronger therapeutic alliances.

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