Norcross, J. (2010). The therapeutic relationship. American Psychological Association.


We can operationally define the client-therapist relationship as the feelings and attitudes that therapist and client have toward one another and how these are expressed. This definition is general but concise, reasonably consensual, and theoretically neutral. My aim in this chapter is to traverse the empirical research on what works in the therapeutic relationship and to translate that research into clinical practices. Decades of research can guide therapists in what to do, what not to do, and how to adapt to individual clients and contexts. The chapter begins with clients’ voices: what research into their experiences reveals about the therapeutic relationship. Then, I review the research on what works in the therapeutic relationship in general. The ensuing section covers the research on what works for particular clients, that is, how to responsively tailor the therapeutic relationship to enhance the efficacy of treatment. The chapter concludes with a brief, practice-friendly review of what does not work in the therapeutic relationship and offers final thoughts on integrating the relationship into the larger treatment context. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)