Therapeutic alliance and progress in couple therapy: Multiple perspectives

Tatiana Glebova, Suzanne Bartle-Haring, Rashmi Gangamma, Michael Knerr, Robin Ostrom Delaney, Kevin Meyer, Tiffany McDowell, Katie Adkins, Erika Grafsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Therapeutic alliance research in couple therapy using multiple perspectives and longitudinal data has been sparse. This study used structural equation modelling to explore relationships between changes in alliance and in progress from clients' and therapists' perspective in a fairly large sample of couples (N=195) during the initial stage of therapy at an on-campus training clinic. Self-rated alliance was measured after sessions 2 through 4 with the Working Alliance Inventory. There was very little change in alliance over the early sessions of therapy, and changes in alliance did not always account for changes in relationship satisfaction. Husbands' perceptions of satisfaction and alliance seem to play an important role in the dynamics of the therapeutic process. Findings suggest a reciprocal relationship between perceptions of alliance and progress in therapy when combining perceptions of therapists and couple clients. Clinical implications and future research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)42-65
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Family Therapy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Couple therapy
  • Progress
  • Therapeutic alliance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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