Foundations 2: Establishing and Managing the Therapeutic Alliance

CE Hours: 6.0
Cost: $120
Instructors: Dan Gilmore, MA, LPC, Marlene N. Reiff, LCSW, LMFT

Friday, 10/15/21, Philhaven via Zoom
Thursday, 10/21/21, Norristown via Zoom

This workshop is designed to help lay the foundations for building and evaluating the quality of therapeutic alliances. Participants will learn key information about the therapeutic alliance including the definition as it pertains to ESFT, differentiation from rapport and joining, and common barriers. During the workshop, participants will use a combination of group discussions and videotape analysis to identify clues to the quality of a therapeutic alliance. Strategies will be provided and demonstrated for developing an alliance with children and caregivers living in fragile, multi-stressed families. Attention will also be given to the importance of having equal empathy for all family members and strategies to engage peripheral/absent members of the family system. Participants will have opportunities to practice building therapeutic alliances through the use of role play. The workshop will also address the role of therapist self-care in maintaining strong therapeutic alliances.


As a result of participating in this workshop, therapists will be able to:  

  1. Describe the nature of a therapeutic alliance and how it differs from “creating rapport”
  2. Utilize clues to assess the strength or quality of the alliance with family members  
  3. Identify two personal strengths and two challenges in creating and maintaining an alliance with both children and parents
  4. Define the elements of Equal Empathy
  5. Practice exploration skills that support the development of therapeutic alliance in treatment

8:30am-12:30pm: Objectives 1-3
12:30-1:30pm: Break
1:30-3:30pm: Objectives 4-5

This is a beginner level course. The target audience is behavioral health professionals working within an Ecosystemic Family Therapy Model. This is a live synchronous distance learning activity conducted in real time, allowing for simultaneous participation of participants and instructors from different locations.

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