Foundations 2: Establishing and Managing the Therapeutic Alliance

Philhaven: Friday 10/12/18
PA Counseling Services: Thursday, 10/18/18
Colmar: Thursday, 10/18/18

This workshop describes the nature of a “therapeutic” alliance as it relates to family treatment. This is one of the core mechanisms of change in ESFT.  Therapists are provided with a list of common clues that can alert them to a weak or a rupture in the alliance.  The concept of metacommunication is introduced and how it relates to identifying the quality of the alliance.  Videotape analysis is used to help therapists identify metacommunication and attune to clues about the strength of the alliance in interactions.  Strategies are provided and demonstrated for developing an alliance with children and caregivers living in fragile, multi-stressed families.


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

  1. Identify the nature of a therapeutic alliance and how it differs from “creating rapport”
  2. Describe the role of metacommunication in creating a therapeutic alliance
  3. Identify clues to the strength or quality of the alliance with family members
  4. Describe basic principles for creating a therapeutic alliance with fragile, multi-stressed families
  5. Explain the link between the team alliance and the alliance with family members
  6. Identify personal strengths and challenges in creating and maintaining an alliance with both children and parents