Relational Therapy

Relational therapy is a therapeutic approach that was founded on the belief that a person must have fulfilling and satisfying relationships with the people around them in order to be emotionally healthy. Relational therapy handles emotional and psychological distress by looking at the client’s patterns of behavior and experiences in interpersonal relationships, taking social factors, such as race, class, culture, and gender, into account. Relational therapy can be useful in the treatment of many issues, but is especially successful when working with individuals seeking to address long-term emotional distress, particularly when that distress related to relationships. Relational therapy will help clients learn skills to create and maintain healthy relationships. Think this approach might be right for you? Reach out to one of TherapyDen’s relational therapy experts today.

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As an MFT, I have experience working with couples in distress and couples just looking to enhance their relationship. I utilize systemic theories to address relational issues.

— Diamond Rodgers, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Las Vegas, NV

My relational therapy expertise centers on relationships' profound impact on well-being. I guide clients in exploring interactions and their effects on daily life. Recognizing relationships' role in shaping joy or negativity, I emphasize boundary setting and identifying fulfilling connections, as relationships are vital aspects of our lives.

— Nicole Ciavarella, Student Therapist in White Bear Lake, MN

The secret sauce to good therapy is the relationship between therapist and client. This is why you've probably heard so much about "fit." For therapy to work, you need to feel safe. It's not that you'll trust your therapist right away, because trust has to be earned and built. But you'll have the sense you can share personal or vulnerable information with your therapist and they'll hold it close, with love and respect.

— TESSA SINCLAIR, Marriage & Family Therapist in San Francisco, CA

All my clients bring to therapy the desire to improve relationship functioning. I address issues such as gaining the courage to set stronger boundaries with a difficult person, resolving anxiety from relational trauma, or taking ownership for resolving marital conflict. I serve clients who want to understand and grow in the context of important relationships. I create authentic, trusting therapeutic experiences with clients that they can build on in their everyday lives.

— Margaret  Certain, Marriage & Family Therapist in Seattle, WA

Relational therapy understands that our lives are shaped by our relationships, and they are integral to our health and happiness. Relationships impact every area of our life.

— Rebecca Newton, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Redondo Beach, CA

The number one predictor of satisfaction with the therapeutic experience is the strength of the bond between the client and the therapist. Creating a foundation of trust and comfort for the client is of the utmost importance to me, as it allows us to explore problematic relationships with family, friends, and partners. Through this collaborative journey, you will learn to handle conflict in a variety of social settings and develop relationship skills such as patience, self-confidence, and trust.

— Nicole Bermensolo, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in Los Angeles, CA

I see the therapeutic relationship as the foundation for the work of therapy. I strive to engage compassionately and authentically, and to enter into a collaborative space with the client that is based on building trust, openness, and curiosity. I invite clients to provide me with feedback about their experiences in our time together, as these reactions can often help us strengthen our relationship as well as build insight into patterns a client may be experiencing in the rest of their life.

— Dr. Luana Bessa, Psychologist in Boston, MA

A relational orientation to therapy is marked by a contextual understanding of a client’s experience, including intra and interpersonal aspects. By means of relational language (stories and metaphors) and embodied learning (mind-body connection), I invite the client to tap into their own resourcefulness to create new connections (e.g., alternative ways of thinking about a problem, re-evaluation of what has been considered as a problem, and the dusting-off of hidden resources).

— Jimena Castro, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in ,

40% of the efficacy of therapy is attributed to the relationship between the therapist and the client. Developing a relationship built on trust, genuineness, cultural understanding, and connection is essential to the therapeutic process, and something I highlight in the work I do above all things. I have core competency in relational style therapy and relational modeling to inform the therapeutic goals.

— Celine Williams, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in Lafayette, CA

I have been working with relationship, culture and role throughout my career.

— Rafe Stepto, Psychotherapist in Brooklyn, NY

Humans are innately relational creatures whose thriving largely depends on being in connection with each other. I believe that it is in relationship with each other where we can do our deepest growth and healing, both of ourselves and our communities. You don't have to be alone. Being in relationship also means learning to set healthy boundaries, have agency over our lives, and access vulnerability. The therapeutic space is a great place to practice all of that.

— Luke Hirst, Licensed Clinical Social Worker - Candidate in Durham, NC

As a Marriage and Family Therapist I am always steering couples and individuals towards relational health. Moving towards relational health can be challenging. Often it requires stronger boundaries which upsets the dynamics families and couples are used to. However, the rewards of relational health are living a more purpose, authenticity, and joy.

— Kelly Edwards, Marriage & Family Therapist in Austin, TX

Relational therapy focuses on the use of the relationship between the therapist and the individuals, and couples, they work with to create opportunities and experiences for self-reflection and interpersonal growth. Relational therapy often integrates multiple models and approaches to create a safe, supportive and experiential therapy where emotional risk taking and self exploration is both supported and encouraged.

— Joseph Winn, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Concord, MA

since i believe the essence of trauma contains profound experiences of disconnection, i also believe in the profound necessity of connection, aka relationship. not only interpersonal relationships, but also cultural and systemic relationships. plus, research shows that the primary predictor of "successful" therapy is the relationship between counselor and client. i take a relational stance so that i honor not only the therapeutic relationship but also the entire web of a client's relationships.

— summer koo, Licensed Professional Counselor Candidate

Our relationship patterns emerge from a matrix of early formative interactions with parents, care givers and other figures that have shaped expectations about how our basic needs are met. Our present desires and urges can be separated from the historic relational contexts where they were formed so new more satisfying patterns are created, rather than re-creating the early learned and painful relationships in present relationships that have nothing to do with the early relationships.

— Daniel Pagano, PhD, Psychoanalyst in NY, NY

The relationship (safety, trust, feedback, consistency, empathy, understanding) between client and therapist is the #1 predictor of success in mental health treatment. I believe relationships/connection is the key to healing. Relationship with ourselves, loved ones, the planet, etc. Using the therapeutic relationship to practice new ways of thinking, feeling, and interacting can be a powerful way to heal and redesign your life outside of therapy.

— Dr. Desiree Howell, Psychologist in Kingsland, GA