" ...[Therapeutic alliance] is an emotional bond between the therapist and the person in therapy, which includes a shared agreement regarding the goals to work on as well as the form of psychological intervention used (Goldberg et al., 2013).
Goldberg brought up a related construct—the real relationship (Gelso & Carter, 1994)—which involves the “actual, non-transferential relationship between a client and a therapist” which he feels most accurately reflects what we might call love in therapy. The real relationship is theorized to operate in tandem with the therapeutic alliance, combining the emotional bond of therapist and person in therapy with agreement on the tasks and the goals of where the therapy work is headed. “Love has something major to do with effective therapy,” he adds.
Part of the therapeutic alliance includes a positive attachment contracted around the mutually defined treatment plan for therapy. The role of the therapeutic alliance is central to psychotherapy, and the effect is independent of the type of therapy used. The quality of the therapeutic alliance accounts for approximately 30% of the clinical outcome, while the guiding theory or model used accounts for 15% (Walsh, 2013).
In other words, therapists are all different, but the methods or theories they use are far less important in terms of a person feeling better (Germer et al., 2005). This means that the alphabet soup of therapy acronyms (e.g., EMDR, CBT, DBT, ACT, etc.) are relatively minor ingredients to what really fills the therapeutic bowl: a person’s individual characteristics (participation, motivation, problems, background) and the therapeutic alliance (Walsh, 2013)..."