A combination of social, political, and economic factors has led to the current surge of interest in brief psychotherapy. The Therapeutic Alliance in Brief Psychotherapy is the first book to examine systematically the role of the therapeutic alliance in short-term psychotherapy and to address the implications of the short-term framework for the alliance:

  • How do the time limitations affect the relationship between therapist and client?
  • How do therapist and client determine the focus of their work together?
  • How does the therapist deal with ruptures in the working alliance and with the pressure of termination issues?

The contributors to this volume are leading and distinguished representatives of the brief-therapy traditions and represent a variety of therapeutic approaches: psychoanalytic (classical and relational), behavioral, cognitive, humanistic-experiential, systemic, and strategic. They discuss therapy with couples, families and groups, as well as with individuals.

The chapter authors each consider the same questions regarding the therapeutic alliance as it pertains to their respective area, which enables the reader to better understand the similarities and differences among these varying approaches. The Therapeutic Alliance in Brief Psychotherapy explores both theory and technique and will be of interest to clinicians of all orientations.

Table of Contents

List of Contributors


  1. Negotiating the Therapeutic Alliance in Brief Psychotherapy: An Introduction
    —J. Christopher Muran and Jeremy D. Safran
  2. The Therapeutic Alliance in Brief Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy: A Drive–Conflict Perspective
    —Harold Been and Arnold Winston
  3. The Therapeutic Alliance in the Relational Models of Time-Limited Dynamic Psychotherapy
    —Jeffrey L. Binder
  4. Functional Analytic Psychotherapy, the Therapeutic Alliance, and Brief Psychotherapy
    —Barbara S. Kohlenberg, Elizabeth A. Yeater, and Robert J. Kohlenberg
  5. The Therapeutic Relationship and Alliance in Short-Term Cognitive Therapy
    —Cory F. Newman
  6. The Therapeutic Alliance in Short-Term Humanistic and Experiential Therapies
    —Jeanne C. Watson and Leslie S. Greenberg
  7. The Therapeutic Alliance in Brief Strategic Therapy
    —James C. Coyne and Carolyn M. Pepper
  8. Perspectives on the Therapeutic Alliance in Brief Couples and Family Therapy
    —Douglas S. Rait
  9. The Alliance in Time-Limited Group Psychotherapy
    —K. Roy MacKenzie
  10. The Therapeutic Alliance in Brief Psychotherapy: General Principles
    —Jeremy D. Safran and J. Christopher Muran


About the Editors