If you believe that breaking is possible, believe also that fixing is possible: A framework for ruptures and repairs in child psychotherapy

Aviv Nof, Tohar Dolev, Liat Leibovich, Judith Harel, Sigal Zilcha-Mano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Safran and Muran's classic theoretical framework of alliance rupture and repair suggests effective techniques for repairing alliance ruptures. Accumulating empirical evidence suggests that successful processes of rupture and repair result in better therapeutic outcome and reduced dropout rates. Although ruptures in the alliance in child psychotherapy are frequent, little is known about how to repair them. The present paper proposes a model for identifying and repairing ruptures in child psychotherapy based on Safran and Muran. It consists of four phases: I) identifying the rupture and understanding its underlying communication message, ii) indicating the presence of the rupture, iii) accepting responsibility over the therapists' part in the rupture and emphasizing the children's active role as communicators of their distress, and iv) resolving the rupture using change strategies and meta-communication by constructing a narrative story. The theoretical rationale of each phase is explained in detail, and practical clinical guidelines are provided. Empirical studies are needed to examine the effectiveness of the proposed framework.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-57
Number of pages13
JournalResearch in Psychotherapy: Psychopathology, Process and Outcome
Volume22
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: the writing of this paper was supported by the Israel Science Foundation (ISF).

Publisher Copyright:
©Copyright A. Nof et al., 2019.

Keywords

  • Alliance ruptures and repairs
  • Child psychotherapy
  • Negotiation of alliance rupture
  • Therapeutic alliance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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