Reconceptualizing the Formation of the Therapeutic Alliance from the Patient’s Viewpoint using a Mixed Methods Research Design

The nature of the relationship between a healthcare provider and an individual receiving care has an impact on the success of psychotherapy and drug therapy. A strong professional working relationship can not only enhance the effect of psychological and psychiatric interventions, but can be therapeutic in and of itself. This has even been found in the treatment of very serious psychiatric conditions such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Researchers have estimated that as least 30% of the effectiveness of psychotherapy and drug therapy can be accounted for by the quality of the professional relationship between an individual and his/her mental healthcare provider. There is a lack of understanding about the factors that are most important for developing a solid working relationship from the perspective of the individuals receiving the mental health services. Expanding upon research he conducted as a MSFHR trainee, Dr. Robinder (Rob) Paul Bedi is exploring this area. He is interviewing individuals currently receiving mental health services and analyzing the variables that they identify. The result: identifying the most common factors found to be essential in the development of positive therapeutic relationships. Bedi’s research aims to help mental healthcare providers develop strong working relationships with the individuals they treat, resulting in improved overall effectiveness of the mental health services that individuals receive.