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Psychotherapy Relationships That WorkEvidence-Based Responsiveness$
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John C. Norcross

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199737208

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199737208.001.0001

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Alliance in Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy

Alliance in Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy

(p.70) Chapter 3 Alliance in Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy
Psychotherapy Relationships That Work

Stephen R. Shirk

Marc S. Karver

Oxford University Press

The therapeutic alliance has a long history in the child and adolescent psychotherapy literature. This chapter examines prominent views on the alliance with youth and considers a number of issues that distinguish youth alliance from its adult counterpart. A meta-analysis of alliance–outcome associations in individual youth therapy is presented. In order to provide a direct comparison with the adult literature, the review included only prospective studies of individual youth therapy that used an explicit measure of alliance. Results from sixteen studies revealed consistency with the adult literature with a weighted mean correlation of .22 between alliance and outcome. Although there were trends showing stronger alliance–outcome associations for child versus adolescent therapy and for behavioral versus nonbehavioral therapies, neither attained statistical significance. Limitations of the research and therapeutic practices are discussed.

Keywords:   alliance, child, adolescent, psychotherapy, meta-analysis

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