The therapist–parent alliance in family-based therapy for adolescents.

Gary M. Diamond, Guy S. Diamond, Howard A. Liddle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


This article describes procedures for developing a therapeutic alliance with a parent within the context of family therapy for adolescents. After an overview of the general clinical model, specific themes and interventions are described that provide a map to facilitate this process. Following E. S. Bordin's (1979) model, alliance is conceptualized in 3 parts: bonds, goals, and tasks. The bond phase consists of the therapist showing empathy and understanding toward the parent and the parent developing empathy toward their own life struggles. The goal phase consists of defining parent–child relationship building as a primary focus of treatment. The task phase consists of preparing parents to better communicate with their adolescent. These phases can occur sequentially within a single session with a parent alone. The alliance building session sets the foundation for parent–adolescent conflict resolution leading to reattachment in future sessions. Application of the discussed principles are described in a case involving a 15-yr-old male with depression. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)
Original languageEnglish GB
Pages (from-to)1037-1050
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Clinical Psychology
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2000


  • Family Therapy
  • Major Depression
  • Parents
  • Therapeutic Alliance
  • Adolescent
  • Depressive Disorder, Major
  • Empathy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Object Attachment
  • Parent-Child Relations
  • Parenting
  • Professional-Family Relations


Dive into the research topics of 'The therapist–parent alliance in family-based therapy for adolescents.'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this