The working alliance and the short-term and long-term effects of therapy: Identification and analysis of the effect of the therapeutic relationship on patients’ quality of life
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Akademia Pedagogiki Specjalnej im. Marii Grzegorzewskiej, Instytut Psychologii, Zakład Psychologii Osobowości
Submission date: 2020-01-21
Final revision date: 2020-09-04
Acceptance date: 2020-11-07
Online publication date: 2022-06-30
Publication date: 2022-06-30
Corresponding author
Tomasz Prusiński   

Zakład Psychologii Osobowości Instytut Psychologii Akademia Pedagogiki Specjalnej im. Marii Grzegorzewskiej
Psychiatr Pol 2022;56(3):571-590
The main issue presented in this article is the analysis of the therapeutic alliance as a non-specific factor healing various mental disorders and the effect of therapeutic alliance quality on patients’ quality of life.

The sample consisted of 140 subjects: 85 patients participating in individual psychotherapy and 55 psychotherapists. To assess working alliance quality, the author used the Working Alliance Inventory (WAI; Horvath & Greenberg). The other measures used in the study were the Temporal Satisfaction With Life Scale (TSWLS; Pavot, Diener, & Suh) and the Psychological Well-Being Scale (PWBS; Ryff).

The results showed that the actual effect of working alliance quality on short-term satisfaction with life was not statistically significant. It was found, however, that the effect of therapeutic alliance quality on psychological well-being was statistically significant and that a higher level of working alliance reported by the psychotherapist and the patient led to a greater sense of psychological well-being. The obtained values of correlation coefficients served as the basis for the hypothesis postulating a positive correlation between working alliance as well as its dimensions and the dimensions of psychological well-being.

The working alliance is not related to short-term effects in psychotherapy, which means that it does not increase the current feeling of satisfaction with life as well as the experience of positive affect and contentment with life. The working alliance augments the quality of life understood as lasting and healthy development. It turns out that the psychotherapeutic alliance is a determinant of psychological well-being understood more deeply than merely as fleeting pleasure and more holistically, as an intrinsic, long-term element of healthy human development. The correlation of these two factors is significant.

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