Building the Bond: Predictors of the Alliance in Neurorehabilitation.

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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.
Original languageEnglish
JournalNeuroRehabilitation
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2 Feb 2020
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