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Keywords:

  • client feedback;
  • therapeutic alliance;
  • therapeutic relationship;
  • patient-focused research

Objective

To examine demand characteristics, social desirability on clients’ rating of working alliance using the Session Rating Scale (SRS; Miller, Duncan, & Johnson, 2000).

Method

Clients (N = 102) at two sites were randomly assigned to one of three alliance feedback conditions: (a) IF—SRS completed in presence of therapist and the results discussed immediately afterward; (b) Next Session Feedback—SRS completed alone and results discussed next session; or (c) No Feedback—SRS completed alone and results not available to therapist. Clients completed the SRS for the first three sessions of treatment.

Results

No statistically significant differences in SRS scores across the feedback conditions were found. Additionally, the analysis showed that SRS scores were not correlated with a measure of social desirability but were correlated with an established alliance measure.

Conclusions

The results indicate that alliance scores were not inflated due to the presence of a therapist or knowing that the scores would be observed by the therapist.