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Keywords:

  • collaboration;
  • psychodynamic psychotherapy;
  • alliance, ruptures

The concept of the collaborative relationship between patient and therapist has its roots in the psychodynamic literature. We trace the concept of collaboration in psychodynamic psychotherapy from classical psychoanalysis to contemporary psychoanalysis and psychodynamic therapies. The active collaboration between the participants central to Bordin's pan-theoretical perspective on the alliance is highlighted. Developments in alliance-fostering techniques and in relational therapy offer the clinician innovative ways to enhance the collaboration and to repair strained or ruptured collaboration. A case study illustrates how the collaborative work in psychodynamic therapy serves as both a means of productive work and as an arena for exploring the evolving here-and-now matrix of the relationship.