Therapeutic Alliance: Client-Counsellor Connections that Matter


Have you heard of the term therapeutic alliance? Unless you’re in the counselling world, you likely haven’t. It has, however, become important for us at Arete due to the big impact it has on how well our clients progress on their mental health journeys.  

Recently, Dr. Marc Milot of Workreach Lab published an article in the Journal of Workplace Behavioral Health that assessed the importance of therapeutic alliance (the cooperative working relationship between a counsellor and their client) in the many outcomes of therapy—the first Employee Assistance Program (EAP) research of its kind. While the research was conducted independently, Dr. Milot used Arete data for this study, so we were very interested in the findings—and thrilled to learn all the different ways our stellar network of professionals is knocking things out of the park for their Arete clients.

Overall, the study found that most Arete clients experienced a high level of therapeutic alliance during counselling, resulting in greater mental well-being, lower depression symptoms, lower work presenteeism and greater life satisfaction at follow-up after the end of counseling.

Here are a few other findings from the study:

  • Arete’s reliance on therapist aptitude metrics in the maintenance of therapists in our network of professionals may explain the high levels of therapeutic alliance observed among our clients.
  • High levels of therapeutic alliance can result in a well implemented EAP counseling program.
  • Therapeutic alliance, as observed in general psychotherapy, is central to EAP effectiveness through its association with improved clinical and workplace outcomes.
  • Implementing strategies that optimize client-counsellor connections are likely to increase therapeutic alliance levels—improving EAP clinical and workplace outcomes and an employer’s return-on-investment.

Read the abstract for more details on the research and findings, or feel free to contact us for the full article.   

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