Rupture and repair in the therapeutic alliance: An attachment perspective

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Carney, Marie Claire
Issue Date
Higher Diploma in Arts in Counselling and Psychotherapy
Dublin Business School
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Research has consistently demonstrated that the quality of the relationship between a therapist and their client, often referred to as the therapeutic alliance, has been shown to be a reliable predictor of positive therapeutic outcome. Equally, weakened alliances have been found to be correlated with unilateral termination by clients. It is therefore important to understand the factors that contribute to the quality of the alliance, and the factors influencing alliance ruptures and repair processes when they occur. There is considerable evidence that clients with secure attachment styles are found to have stronger alliances with their therapists, while the alliances of those with insecure attachment styles are weaker. Recent developments in rupture repair research suggest that attachment style may play a role in a client’s ability to engage in rupture repair processes. This study aims to explore rupture and repair in the therapeutic alliance from an attachment perspective.