Psychotherapy Research

Interpersonal problems, working alliance, and outcome in short-term experiential therapy.

Gestalt psychotherapyResearchCase seriesEnglish
Journal Article - Paid access

Abstract

Examines the relationships among interpersonal problems, alliance, and outcome in short-term (8–16 session) experiential therapy using an empty chair dialogue for resolving "unfinished business" with a significant other person. 33 clients completed the Working Alliance Inventory after the 3rd and final sessions of therapy, and outcome questionnaires before and after therapy. These included the Symptom Checklist-90-Revised, the SASB (Structural Analysis of Social Behavior) Introject, the Unfinished Business Resolution scale, and the Inventory of Interpersonal Problems (IIP). Eight subscales, and dominance and affiliation scores derived from the IIP, were the interpersonal predictor variables. Results indicated that interpersonal problems related to hostility, as well as coldness, social avoidance, and nonassertiveness were predictive of the alliance in this type of therapy. Overall, social/emotional avoidance rather than control/hostility appear to be the crucial alliance issue in this presenting problem and therapy. None of the interpersonal variables were significantly related to final outcome.

APA citation

Paivio, S. C., & Bahr, L. (1998). Interpersonal problems, working alliance, and outcome in short-term experiential therapy. Psychotherapy Research, 8(4), 392-407. http://doi.org/10.1093/ptr/8.4.392