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The Brief Therapeutic Alliance Scale (BTAS-5)

The therapeutic alliance, also known as the working alliance, is the interaction or relationship between client and therapist, including how they behave with and engage one another.  It is central to the manifestation of positive outcomes during therapy.


The five item  Brief Therapeutic Alliance Scale (BTAS-5) was developed by Workreach Lab for the rapid assessment of the working alliance (< 30 secs) as experienced by clients in relation to their therapist. It assesses multiple domains, such as feelings of trust and connection with the assigned therapist.  It can be administrated at the end of counseling and/or between sessions to track the development of the client-therapist relationship.

The BTAS-5 is ideal for use in service-oriented settings (e.g., employee assistance programs, mental heath programs) where minimizing respondent burden and questionnaire length is important. Scores can be used to track progress, to assess the quality of counseling services, and for feedback-informed treatment.

A study* by Workreach Lab conducted with thousands of working Canadians indicated that:

  • The scale has high reliability and validity

  • Higher therapeutic alliance during counseling is associated with  greater improvements in mental health and work functioning

  • The therapeutic alliance can serve as an indicator of well-implemented and impactful counseling services

A license is required for use of the BTAS-5. Certain licenses are available at no cost.

*Milot, M. (2022). The therapeutic alliance as an indicator of well-implemented and impactful employee counseling services: Deployment of the Brief Therapeutic Alliance Scale in an employee assistance program. Journal of Workplace Behavioral Health. Study link.

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