Abstract Psychoeducation has proved to be an effective treatment method for the prevention of relapse in recurrent depression. However, little is known about the processes which could account for the effects of psychoeducational treatment. In this study, patients with recurrent depression (currently remitted) received, over a period of 8months, 16 sessions of psychoeducational treatment, in order to prevent relapse. Therapist adherence and competence, and the therapeutic alliance, were investigated as predictors of reducing the recurrence risk in depression. Videotapes of 43 participants in a psychoeducational treatment for depression were analyzed, in order to evaluate therapist adherence and competence. Additionally, the therapeutic alliance was assessed by means of a questionnaire. One year after treatment, no associations were found between therapist adherence or competence and the risk of relapse. The patients' view of the therapeutic alliance was moderately associated with the time to relapse. However, the correlation disappeared when controlled for the number of previous depressive episodes. The latter was the most important predictor of time to relapse, explaining 15% of variance.