Theories of personal relationships are reviews to help us understand the therapeutic relationship as a personal relationship: Chambliss's (1965) theory of friendship which focuses on impression management; Kelley & Thibaut's (1978) theory of interdependence and Rusbult's (1980a) investment model of relationship satisfaction and commitment which focus on social exchange processes; and Levinger's (Levinger & Snoek, 1972) incremental exchange theory which focuses on developmental changes in a relationship. Taking these theories into consideration enables us to view psychotherapy as a personal relationship and suggests avenues for research and hypothesis testing. Conversely, the unique characteristics of therapy as a personal but asymmetric relationship also suggest implications for the development of concepts and research on other types of personal relationships.


Original Citation: Winstead, Barbara A., Valerian J. Derlega, Robin J. Lewis, and Stephen T. Margulis. "Understanding the Therapeutic Relationship as a Personal Relationship." Journal of Social and Personal Relationships 5, (1988): 109-125.