Psychotherapy relationships that work III.

This article introduces the journal issue devoted to the most recent iteration of evidence-based psychotherapy relationships and frames it within the work of the Third Interdivisional American Psychological Association Task Force on Evidence-Based Relationships and Responsiveness. The authors summarize the overarching purposes and processes of the Task Force and trace the devaluation of the therapy relationship in contemporary treatment guidelines and evidence-based practices. The article outlines the meta-analytic results of the subsequent 16 articles in the issue, each devoted to the link between a particular relationship element and treatment outcome. The expert consensus deemed 9 of the relationship elements as demonstrably effective, 7 as probably effective, and 1 as promising but with insufficient research to judge. What works—and what does not—in the therapy relationship is emphasized throughout. The limitations of the task force work are also addressed. The article closes with the Task Force’s formal conclusions and 28 recommendations. The authors conclude that decades of research evidence and clinical experience converge: The psychotherapy relationship makes substantial and consistent contributions to outcome independent of the type of treatment. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved)