Object Relations

The Relationship Between Patient Object Relations and the Therapeutic Alliance in a Naturalistic Psychotherapy Sample

The quality of the patient-therapist relationship, or therapeutic alliance, is widely viewed as an important element of the psychotherapeutic process. Empirically, the therapeutic alliance is a well-established and robust predictor of therapeutic change. With its clear impact on therapeutic success, researchers have increasingly examined factors that contribute to alliance development, including patient psychological characteristics. Preliminary findings suggest that patient object relations, which are mental representations of self and others, may be a significant predictor of alliance quality.

This study will further examine this relationship in a naturalistic sample of adult outpatients. Using hierarchical linear modeling, the study will also account for therapist differences, as well as explore the potential impact that the timing of the alliance rating (early or middle treatment) and the rating perspective (patient versus therapist) have on the relationship between object relations and alliance quality.

Principal Investigator: Paula Errazuriz