Self-reported attachment styles and therapeutic orientation of therapists and their relationship with reported general alliance quality and problems in therapy
Article first published online: 31 DEC 2010
2005 The British Psychological Society
Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice
Volume 78, Issue 3, pages 363–377, September 2005
How to Cite
Black, S., Hardy, G., Turpin, G. and Parry, G. (2005), Self-reported attachment styles and therapeutic orientation of therapists and their relationship with reported general alliance quality and problems in therapy. Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theo, Res, Pra, 78: 363–377. doi: 10.1348/147608305X43784
- Issue published online: 31 DEC 2010
- Article first published online: 31 DEC 2010
- Received 8 October 2003; revised version received 3 September 2004
The aims of this study were to explore the relationship between therapists' self-reported attachment styles and therapeutic orientation with the self-reported general therapeutic alliance and therapist-reported problems in psychological therapy.
A sample of 491 psychotherapists from differing therapeutic orientations responded to a postal questionnaire. The questionnaire contained standardized measures of therapeutic alliance quality, attachment behaviours, a checklist of problems in therapy, and a brief personality inventory.
Therapist-reported attachment styles generally explained a significant additional proportion of the variance in alliance and problems in therapy, over and above variance explained by general personality variables. Self-reported secure attachment style was significantly positively correlated with therapist-reported general good alliance. Self-reported anxious attachment styles were significantly negatively correlated with good alliance, and significantly positively correlated with the number of therapist-reported problems in therapy. Therapeutic orientation independently predicted a small but significant amount of the variance in reported general alliance quality in addition to that explained by attachment behaviours.