Date of this Version
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy 36:1 (2007), pp. 34–42.
It has been suggested that a strong working alliance encourages clients to take risks during therapy (Raue, Castonguay, & Goldfried, 1993). This encouragement may be important for clients who fear negative evaluations as they engage in risk-taking elements of therapy. This study examined the relationship between working alliance, session helpfulness, and measures of emotional processing in 18 clients undergoing cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) for social anxiety disorder. Results indicate a positive correlation between client-rated, but not observer-rated, working alliance and session helpfulness. Moderate levels of working alliance were associated with higher initial anxiety and deeper within-session habituation. Overall, a strong alliance was associated with clients engaging with the session and finding the session helpful. Implications for the use of CBT for social anxiety are discussed.