Time-limited effective psychotherapy is a topic that is frequently addressed in clinical therapy research. Though a wide range of therapeutic factors, expectancy effects, techniques, and extratherapeutic have all been demonstrated to be related to outcome, researchers have consistently identified the therapeutic alliance as one of the strongest factors in predicting psychotherapy outcomes. Researchers are beginning to measure the effectiveness of therapy by evaluating improvements in outcome measures, and client reported therapeutic alliance. Researchers have recently began investigating the common personality profiles among psychotherapists, and have hypothesized that there is a relationship between psychotherapist personality and therapeutic alliance. The goal of this research was to determine if the relationship between psychotherapist personality traits and therapeutic alliance existed and whether a therapeutic alliance focused intervention would improve client reported therapeutic alliance. Researchers recruited pre-licensed graduate level psychotherapists from community-based outpatient clinics. A total of 50 psychotherapists participated by completing a NEO-Five Factor Inventory (NEO-FFI).Clients of these therapists were also asked to complete a Working Alliance Inventory-Short Form (WAI-S) and an Outcome Rating Scale (ORS). Results indicated that psychotherapists, in general, have lower levels of Neuroticism, and higher levels of Openness and Agreeableness, compared to community normative data. The researchers found that Agreeableness played a significant role in client-reported therapeutic alliance. Psychotherapists who had the highest ratings of therapeutic alliance had significantly higher scores on the Agreeableness scale compared to psychotherapists who had the lowest ratings of therapeutic alliance. Researchers were unable to statistically demonstrate that therapeutic alliance focused interventions were related to higher ratings of therapeutic alliance or psychotherapy outcomes. However, reports from participants suggest that additional therapeutic alliance focused interventions are beneficial for individuals providing direct service to clients and for supervisors.
School of Behavioral Health
Vermeersch, David A.
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Year Degree Awarded
Date (Title Page)
Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings
Subject - Local
Time-limited Effective Psychotherapy; Therapeutic Alliance; Outcomes
Loma Linda University Libraries
This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.
Finlay, Michael, "The Relationship between Psychotherapist Personality and Therapeutic Alliance" (2018). Loma Linda University Electronic Theses, Dissertations & Projects. 519.
Loma Linda University Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives