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This state-of-the-art book presents research-based practice guidelines that clinicians of any orientation can use to optimize the therapeutic alliance. Leading proponents of the major psychotherapeutic approaches explain just what a good alliance is, how to create it, and how to recognize and repair alliance ruptures. Applications in individual, group, couple, and family therapy are explored; case examples vividly illustrate the concepts and techniques. Links between the quality of the alliance and client outcomes are elucidated. A section on training fills a major gap in the field, reviewing proven strategies for helping therapists to develop key relationship-building skills.