Repairing alliance ruptures using supportive techniques in telepsychotherapy during the COVID-19 pandemic

Tohar Dolev-Amit, Liat Leibovich, Sigal Zilcha-Mano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The COVID-19 pandemic shifted many traditional face-to-face treatments to telepsychotherapy, forcing many therapists worldwide to adapt effective techniques developed in face-to-face treatment to telepsychotherapy. These include supportive techniques that may be particularly important at a time of rising anxiety, loneliness, helplessness, and depression. The present paper provides detailed guidelines for therapists on how supportive techniques developed in traditional face-to-face treatment can be effectively used in telepsychotherapy to resolve alliance ruptures. To this end, we used the conceptual framework of the core conflictual relationship theme (CCRT) formulation, making adjustments for identifying and resolving ruptures in the therapeutic alliance in telepsychotherapy. We demonstrated the proposed techniques for identifying and repairing ruptures with a case study of a patient participating in an ongoing RCT, whose treatment shifted in mid-therapy to telepsychotherapy because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The techniques presented and illustrated in this article may be used in the transition to remote therapy for a range of reasons, including patient or therapist relocation and more.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages14
JournalCounselling Psychology Quarterly
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, © 2020 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Therapeutic Relationship
  • alliance ruptures
  • core conflictual relationship theme
  • supportive Techniques

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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