Therapeutic alliance in psychoanalytic psychotherapy: theoretical aspects and clinical handling

Rodrigo Sanches Peres About the author

The term "therapeutic alliance", employed more and more frequently in psychoanalytic literature, is usually compared, albeit erroneously, to positive transference or regarded as the opposite of negative transference. It is, however, a term with significant specificities. The present study aims to deal with theoretical aspects of the therapeutic alliance and to discuss its handling in the context of psychoanalytic psychotherapy. To this end, the present study involves a bibliographical review and a discussion of a clinical case. The bibliographical review supports the understanding of therapeutic alliance as a work relationship, influenced by both conscious elements and unconscious content, which is established between patient and psychotherapist in support of the psychotherapeutic process. The clinical case discussion emphasizes the role of the psychotherapist: comprehensive listening, friendly attitude,explanatory activity, synthetic function and reflexive posture to promote and sustain the therapeutic alliance.

Therapeutic alliance; Clinical psychology; Psychotherapy

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