Symposium 6th World Congress on Positive Psychology 2019

Gratitude and Therapeutic Alliance (#24)

Chi-Ching Leung 1 , Eddie M.W Tong 1
  1. Psychology, National University of Singapore, Singapore

Therapeutic alliance is believed by many to be important to the success of psychotherapy. It consists of three related components: (1) client and therapist agreeing on the goals of treatment (Goal), (2) client and therapist agreeing on how to achieve the stated goals (Task) and (3) the development of a bond between client and therapist (Bond). In recent years, positive emotions have gain prominence of being associated with different types of well-being. It has been posited that positive emotions are able to improve social relations. Therefore, it may not be surprising that positive emotions may play a part in influencing therapeutic alliance. Among various positive emotions, gratitude, being an other-focused emotion, has been found to have strong positive associations with social well-being. Therefore, the current study aimed to examine the relationship between gratitude and therapeutic alliance. In order to increase ecological validity, the study utilised a sample of drug offenders undergoing a group cognitive-behavioural based psychotherapy and it was found that gratitude measured post-psychotherapy predicted for greater therapeutic alliance. The results suggested that a positive emotion like gratitude could help to increase therapeutic alliance which in turn could contribute to greater success of psychotherapy.