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ERIC Number: EJ934607
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Aug
Pages: 6
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 19
ISSN: ISSN-0022-006X
Do Treatment Manuals Undermine Youth-Therapist Alliance in Community Clinical Practice?
Langer, David A.; McLeod, Bryce D.; Weisz, John R.
Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, v79 n4 p427-432 Aug 2011
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. (Contains 3 tables, 1 figure and 3 footnotes.)
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A