The Supporting Alliance in Child and Adolescent Treatment: Enhancing Collaboration Among Therapists, Parents, and Teachers

Feinstein, Noah R.; Fielding, Krista; Udvari-Solner, Alice; Joshi, Shashank V., 2009

Research indicates that the therapeutic alliance between therapist and pediatric patient is most elective in the context of a productive supporting alliance—an alliance encompassing the network of relationships among therapists, parents and teachers. In this essay, we develop a model of the supporting alliance, arguing that the child's primary relationships with various parties (therapists, teachers, and parents) imply a set of secondary relationships among those parties (parent-therapist, therapist-teacher, parent teacher). We review the literature on these secondary relationships, focusing on their nature and discussing the benefits of and obstacles to establishing productive collaborations in each case. We also describe three sorts of pathology that can afflict the supporting alliance as a whole, and discuss the importance of patient autonomy and therapist-patient confidentiality relative to the supporting alliance- Finally, we identify directions for future research and highlight implications for practice.

Readings: the full text of all recommended readings can be downloaded. If you already have an account, please login to download. If you do not yet have a (free) account, please click here to sign up.