The therapeutic alliance concept has been confined primarily to the literature on individual psychotherapy. This paper formally introduces the concept into the family and marital therapy domain and presents various clinical hypotheses about the nature of the alliance and its role in familyand marital therapy. A systemic perspective is brought to bear on the concept within individual psychotherapy. A new, integrative definition of the alliance is presented that conceptualizes individual, couple and family therapy as occurring within the same systemic framework. The implications of this integrative-alliance concept for family, couple and individual therapy research are examined. Three new system-ically oriented scales to measure the alliance in individual, couple and family therapy are presented along with some preliminary data on their methodological characteristics.