Date of Paper


Type of Paper

Clinical research paper

Degree Name

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


Social Work

First Advisor

Philip AuClaire


Social Work


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.

Included in

Social Work Commons