Aims: Alliance Focused Training (AFT) 1 aims at enhancing therapists' competences in resolving ruptures in the therapeutic alliance using video recordings and role-plays. This pilot study funded by the Heigl Foundation aimed at presenting initial results and clinical experiences with AFT in Germany, and to prepare a subsequent RCT.
Methods: 7 trainee therapists participated. Therapies of 15 patients with depressive disorder were analyzed.
Results and Conclusion: Trainees experienced AFT as very helpful for their professional development and for dealing with alliance ruptures. The therapeutic competence significantly improved both in self and in observer ratings. The results indicate that AFT is a promising approach to improve psychotherapy training, emphasizing the relevance of the planned proof of concept RCT.