Evaluating the alliance in videolink teletherapy

  • Ghosh G
  • Mclaren P
  • Watson J
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The use of videoconferencing in psychotherapy remains largely unexplored. Videoconferencing compromises the range and quality of interactional information and thus might be expected to affect the working alliance (WA) between client and therapist, and consequently the process and outcome of therapy. A single case study exploring the effect of videoconferencing on the development of the WA in the psychological treatment of a female-male transsexual is described. The self-rated Working Alliance Inventory (WAI) was used to measure client and therapist perceptions of the WA after each session over 10 sessions of eclectic therapy conducted over a videolink. The serial WAI measurements charting the development of the WA in 4 cases of 10-session, face-to-face therapy by Horvath and Marx were used as a quasi-control. Therapist and client impressions of teletherapy are described. WAI scores were essentially similar to the face-to-face control group except for lower client-rated bond subscale scores. It is suggested that client personality factors accounted for this difference and that videoconferencing did not impair the development of an adequate working alliance or successful therapeutic outcome.

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  • G J Ghosh

  • P M Mclaren

  • J P Watson

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