Therapeutic alliance and family-based treatment for adolescents with anorexia nervosa.
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This pilot study examines the role of therapeutic alliance in relation to weight gain and change in psychological measures during family-based treatment for adolescent anorexia nervosa (AN). Our sample consisted of 14 adolescents with AN and their families. Therapeutic alliance was measured using the System for Observing Family Therapy Alliances Scale. Those adolescents who attained at least 85% of their ideal body weight at the end of treatment had parents who showed a stronger therapeutic alliance with the therapist during the second session of treatment, while adolescents who were remitted on psychological measures showed a higher therapeutic alliance between themselves and the therapist early in treatment. It appears that therapeutic alliance plays an important role in outcome in family-based treatment for AN. Further study is needed in this area to explore the role of the therapist in creating and maintaining a strong therapeutic alliance.
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