The concept of therapeutic alliance is relevant in contemporary mental health care, as the consumer-led recovery movement promotes the development of collaborative relationships, and is focussed on the consumer's individual concept of wellbeing. An evolutionary concept analysis was undertaken to establish a contemporary interpretation of therapeutic alliance for mental health nursing. The CINAHL, Scopus and PsycINFO databases were searched for articles (n = 322), with 52 deemed appropriate for analysis. Therapeutic alliance is characterised by mutual partnerships between nurses and consumers, and is dependent on a humanistic healthcare culture. Therapeutic alliance is associated with enhanced consumer outcomes and experiences with care.