A strong therapeutic alliance is considered to be an essential factor for the effective assessment and management of suicidal patients; however, to date this has received little empirical attention. The current study evaluated the association of future change in suicidal ideation with therapeutic alliance during first appointments with primary care behavioral health consultants. The Behavioral Health Measure (BHM; Kopta & Lowery, 2002 ) and Therapeutic Bond Scale (TBS; CelestHealth Solutions, 2006) were completed by 497 primary care patients who kept 2 to 8 appointments with the integrated behavioral health consultant. Results indicated that suicidal ideation generally improved over the course of several behavioral health appointments and that therapeutic alliance was rated very high by patients. Therapeutic alliance during the first appointment was not associated with eventual change in suicidal ideation.
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