Do treatment manuals undermine youth–therapist alliance in community clinical practice?

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Do treatment manuals undermine youth–therapist alliance in community clinical practice?

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Title: Do treatment manuals undermine youth–therapist alliance in community clinical practice?
Author: Langer, David A.; McLeod, Bryce D.; Weisz, John R

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Citation: Langer, David A., Bryce D. McLeod, and John R. Weisz. 2011. “Do Treatment Manuals Undermine Youth–therapist Alliance in Community Clinical Practice?” Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 79 (4): 427–432. doi:10.1037/a0023821.
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Abstract: Objective: Some critics of treatment manuals have argued that their use may undermine the quality of the client–therapist alliance. This notion was tested in the context of youth psychotherapy delivered by therapists in community clinics. Method: Seventy-six clinically referred youths (57% female, age 8–15 years, 34% Caucasian) were randomly assigned to receive nonmanualized usual care or manual-guided treatment to address anxiety or depressive disorders. Treatment was provided in community clinics by clinic therapists randomly assigned to treatment condition. Youth–therapist alliance was measured with the Therapy Process Observational Coding System—Alliance (TPOCS–A) scale at 4 points throughout treatment and with the youth report Therapeutic Alliance Scale for Children (TASC) at the end of treatment. Results: Youths who received manual-guided treatment had significantly higher observer-rated alliance than usual care youths early in treatment; the 2 groups converged over time, and mean observer-rated alliance did not differ by condition. Similarly, the manual-guided and usual care groups did not differ on youth report of alliance. Conclusions: Our findings did not support the contention that using manuals to guide treatment harms the youth–therapist alliance. In fact, use of manuals was related to a stronger alliance in the early phase of treatment.
Published Version: doi:10.1037/a0023821
Terms of Use: This article is made available under the terms and conditions applicable to Open Access Policy Articles, as set forth at http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:dash.current.terms-of-use#OAP
Citable link to this page: http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:34262169
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