The therapeutic working alliance is defined as the collaborative relationship between the therapist and the patient. This relationship largely determines whether the patient experiences therapy as helpful or unhelpful in reaching their agreed upon goals. The relationship between the therapeutic alliance and psychotherapy outcome has been well documented in the literature. The therapeutic alliance is considered a “main curative component” in the interpersonal process of therapy, and is the foundation necessary for successful therapy outcomes across various orientations of psychotherapy. Still, far less research has examined the relationship between specific therapist personality characteristics and the quality of the therapeutic alliance. The current study is aimed at examining the relationship between several therapist personality traits and the therapeutic alliance. The study utilizes the Working Alliance Inventory Short-Form (WAI-S) to measure client-reported therapeutic alliance, and the NEO-Five Factor Inventory (NEOFFI) to measure therapist personality. This project will explore the effect of education on promoting better therapeutic alliance in unlicensed, novice therapists. Program development to educate new therapists on the relationship between personality and therapeutic alliance will be tested through a pilot study. This study is designed to determine the effectiveness of such training in actual clinical settings. We hypothesize that education on this topic will ameliorate the therapeutic alliance when compared to therapists who have not received the training. We further hypothesize that there will be a relationship between psychotherapist personality (measured by the NEO-FFI) and the client reported therapeutic alliance (CRTA) (measured by the WAI-S).

Keywords: Therapeutic alliance, psychotherapy outcome

LLU Discipline





School of Behavioral Health

First Advisor

David A. Vermeersch

Second Advisor

Adam L. Aréchiga

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)

Degree Level


Year Degree Awarded


Date (Title Page)




Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings

Psychotherapy; Therapeutic Alliance


Doctoral Project

Page Count

41 p.

Digital Format


Digital Publisher

Loma Linda University Libraries

Usage Rights

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.


Loma Linda University Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Collection Website



Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives