Practitioner Perspectives on the Impact of Collaborative Documentation on the Therapeutic Alliance


Social Work

Date of Paper/Work


Degree Name

Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)

Type of Paper/Work

Clinical research paper


Philip AuClaire


Collaborative documentation (CD), also known as concurrent documentation, is the practice of creating the case record in the presence of the client. This is often done in collaboration with the client, where the client has input into what is written in the clinical record. This practice is relatively new, and there is disagreement among practitioners about how this can impact the therapeutic alliance between the practitioner and the client. Some say that it could harm their relationships with the clients they serve, others report improvements in the therapeutic alliance. This study explored the relationship between the practice of CD and the quality of the therapeutic alliance. Five practitioners were selected who use CD in providing mental health services. Each was interviewed utilizing an interview schedule based on the short form of the Working Alliance Inventory- short (WAI-s) (Horvath & Greenberg, 1989). Findings included variance in the practitioner perceptions of the impact of CD on the therapeutic alliance, but did support that when certain ways of practicing CD are used the impact can be a positive one. Some practitioners were more skeptical of the positive impact of CD on the therapeutic alliance, but most agreed that it is helpful in gaining improved agreement between practitioner and client on goals.


collaborative documentation, therapeutic alliance

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.