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(p. 43) Therapeutic Interpersonal Skills for Facilitating the Working Alliance 

(p. 43) Therapeutic Interpersonal Skills for Facilitating the Working Alliance
(p. 43) Therapeutic Interpersonal Skills for Facilitating the Working Alliance

Timothy Anderson

and Matthew R. Perlman

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date: 30 September 2020

The authors focus on the interpersonal skills that can be cultivated to promote a productive working alliance between therapist and client/patient. Specifically, they identify pan-theoretical, pragmatic methods of improving therapist interpersonal skills with the goal of establishing and maintaining working alliances. The authors review the eight facilitative interpersonal skills (FIS) and discuss the role of therapist responsiveness—the ability to detect and modify in-session processes based on subtle, interpersonal shifts in the client’s expression and communication. Therapist responsiveness and the use of FIS is of particular importance during challenging, emotionally charged incidents during therapy, known as “critical relational markers.” Finally, they discuss how therapists can foster these relational capacities through deliberate practice. Clinical examples are utilized to facilitate understanding of the application of these skills.

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