Neurorehabilitation services are often delivered through group psycho-education
programmes. However, little is known about the therapeutic process at work during such sessions. The present study is the first to gain insight into the therapeutic alliance, during a seven session group programme. In addition, cognitive, emotional, and demographic predictors of the alliance, and participants’ feelings towards their group members, were investigated, together with predictors of patient engagement. Forty-five participants with an
acquired brain injury completed a series of questionnaires, and neuropsychological assessment, following group psycho-education. The group Facilitator completed a parallel therapeutic alliance questionnaire, and rated participants’ engagement. Results demonstrated that a strong alliance can be formed in seven group sessions. Notably, no demographic or cognitive factors appear to pose a barrier to developing a therapeutic alliance, nor to group
attraction. High levels of depression, however, may be a challenge, and clinicians may need to tailor their clinical skills to ensure a good therapeutic relationship with such patients. To promote engagement, clinicians may also need to provide additional support to patients with lower levels of education, working memory, and episodic memory impairment.