Author(s): Marmarosh CL, Kivlighan DM Jr, Bieri K, LaFauci Schutt JM, Barone C,
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Abstract The purpose of this study was to test the notion that complementary attachments are best for achieving a secure base in psychotherapy. Specifically, we predicted third to fifth session alliance from client- and therapist-rated attachment style interactions. Using a combined sample of 46 therapy dyads from a community mental health clinic and university counseling center, the client- and therapist-perceived therapy alliance, attachment anxiety, and attachment avoidance were examined at the beginning of therapy. The results of an Actor-Partner Interdependence Model (APIM; Kenny & Cook, 1999, Partner effects in relationship research: Conceptual issues, analytic difficulties, and illustrations. Personal Relationships, 6, 433-448.) indicated that there was no direct effect of either client or therapist attachment style on therapist or client early ratings of the alliance. One significant interaction emerged and indicated that client-perceived alliance was influenced by therapist and client attachment anxiety. The client-perceived early alliance was higher when more anxious therapists worked with clients with decreasing anxiety. The client early alliance was higher when less anxious therapists worked with clients with increasing anxiety. The findings partially support the notion that different attachment configurations between the therapist and client facilitate greater alliance, but this was the case only when assessing client-perceived early alliance and only with regards to the dimension of attachment anxiety. There were no significant main effects or interactions when exploring therapist-perceived alliance. Implications of the findings are discussed along with recommendations for future study and clinical training. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved.
This article was published in Psychotherapy (Chic)
and referenced in Clinical Depression