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How to build a strong therapeutic alliance in mental healthcare: things to do, things to avoid 

How to build a strong therapeutic alliance in mental healthcare: things to do, things to avoid
Chapter:
How to build a strong therapeutic alliance in mental healthcare: things to do, things to avoid
Author(s):

Muj Husain

, Claudia Palumbo

, and Dinesh Bhugra

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198723646.003.0016
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date: 30 November 2021

The therapeutic alliance between the clinician and the patient is at the heart of engagement and treatment. At its simplest, it is defined as a rational agreement or contract which supports a patient’s treatment. It has been described as the ‘cornerstone of treatment in medicine’ and is an essential part of the relationship between a patient or carer and their health professional. The therapeutic alliance matters because the quality of relationship we form with our patients is an important predictor of how our patients do. So, a better therapeutic alliance means we are providing better care and better outcomes for patients. This chapter describes the concept of the therapeutic alliance, what it means, and the factors which may influence this core activity of healthcare.

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