In this introduction to this issue on Rupture–Repair in Practice, we present our understanding of alliance ruptures using common language to appeal to all theoretical orientations. Specifically, we define withdrawal movements away from another or oneself (efforts towards isolation or appeasement) and confrontation movements against another (efforts towards aggression or control). In addition to these interpersonal markers, we suggest that therapist emotional experiences can be considered as intrapersonal markers indicating rupture. We emphasize understanding ruptures as relational phenomena. Then we present various pathways toward rupture–repair, highlighting renegotiation of therapy tasks or goals and exploration of patient and therapist contributions and needs. We explain how these paths can be understood as critical change processes that can transform obstacles in treatment into opportunities. We finish with some mention of our alliance-focused training for self-development. This issue represents an important step towards demonstrating the transtheoretical and practical potential of rupture–repair.
- alliance/therapeutic alliance
- psychotherapy process
- rupture markers
- therapist training