Towards an Understanding of the Within-System Therapeutic Alliance with High-Conflict Divorced Parents: A Change Process Research

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Resumen

The aim of this study is to analyze the initial therapeutic alliance in family therapy with high-conflict divorced parents and identify facilitating elements of change. We sampled 16 family therapy cases (32 parents) from a public healthcare hospital in Spain. Based on the System for Observing Family Therapy Alliances (SOFTA-o) ratings, we divided the total number of cases into two groups, depending on the presence or absence of parents’ positive indicators in the Shared Sense of Purpose dimension (i.e., productive within-family collaboration or within-system alliance). We quantitatively described and compared the initial therapeutic alliance of the two groups. To deeper explore the within-system alliance process of change, we completed the discovery-oriented phase of the Task Analysis methodology. The main differences between groups were found in the Safety dimension, which was higher in the group of cases with indicators of within-system alliance. More detailed differences were also found. The Task Analysis suggested a model of the within-system alliance process of change grounded in three main categories -or stages- that occurred sequentially (1. Narratives of conflict, 2. Narratives of joint responsibility, and 3. Narratives of opportunity) and a category that appeared in different moments across the task resolution (0. Contextualization). Five sub-categories emerged in a recursive movement within categories 1 and 2. Implications and recommendations for practice are described along with limitations and suggestions to continue this line of research.

Idioma originalInglés
Páginas (desde-hasta)329-342
Número de páginas14
PublicaciónContemporary Family Therapy
Volumen43
N.º4
DOI
EstadoPublicada - dic 2021

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