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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Relationships matter, including your relationship with your therapist. Our work together will use what happens in therapy as a way of gaining more insight on what is happening in your relationships outside of therapy.

— Bronwyn Shiffer, Clinical Social Worker in Madison, WI

The therapist-client relationship provides a here and now experience of what occurs in other relationships. By focusing on what is being evoked in the therapeutic relationship, we are given the opportunity to observe how we make sense of other people's actions and how we repeat relational patterns. As we examine this process in therapy, we come to better understand our reactions, expand our range of options, and set into motion healthier ways of relating with others.

— Mona Kumar, Psychologist in Pasadena, CA

I am a relational therapist, and I am comfortable working with clients on various issues that arise in their relationships. For nearly the past five years, I have facilitated a "Healthy Relationships" group. Some of the recurring relational therapy topics are social factors, such as culture, race, class, heteronormativity, and intersectionality. Relational therapy is helpful when an individual is experiencing some discomfort from their intimate, professional, family, or social relationships.

— Uriah Cty M.A., LMFT # 121606, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Los Angeles, CA

The core foundation of good therapeutic work is a relationship built on warmth, authenticity, and trust, where all parties learn from one another. Our approach pays close attention to what is happening moment-to-moment and explores the ways that we are impacting each other. We know that therapy is incredibly vulnerable and can feel intimidating! Our therapists are not blank slates-knowing about the person you're sharing with and what they stand for makes sharing a little bit easier.

— Kindman & Co. Therapy Practice, Therapist in Los Angeles, CA

I believe the most important factor in whether or not therapy works is the relationship between the client and therapist, so we can work together to create a space that feels helpful to you. I always welcome feedback about what is and isn't working, and this can often lead to important insights.

— Sammy Kirk, Licensed Clinical Social Worker

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

Through the therapeutic relationship and in-the-moment feedback, clients learn and grow and can apply lessons from sessions to their relationships outside the therapy room. Sessions and the therapeutic relationship are viewed as a microcosm of a client’s outside life.

— Jessica Magenheimer, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in , CA

I'm well trained in psychodynamic and systems-oriented relational therapy. This means that we'll work together to improve your relationships and overall wellbeing, through both exploring the past, and looking with curiosity at your current connections and patterns of communication. We'll be able to learn from the way you and I work and communicate together, trying new behaviors along the way. We'll discover what "old roles" worked in the past, that no longer serve you in the present.

— Joseph Hovey, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Brooklyn, NY

Harm happens in relationship, and healing happens in relationship. We often carry our past relationships into our current ones, even if we're not aware of it at first. In psychotherapy, we will tend to the truth of the relationship, and together, welcome all it brings up for you. Healing happens not just in you telling stories, but in the ways we recognize how those stories impact each of us in the moment.

— Sarah Peace, Licensed Professional Counselor in Culver City, CA

I believe that the therapeutic relationship is the greatest tool in the therapy room. With relational therapy, I have been able to build strong, authentic connections with clients that allow them to feel comfortable enough to explore all the parts of themselves.

— Anna Lise Carolan, Licensed Professional Counselor Associate

The best predictor of success in counseling is the relationship between client and therapist. I pour my energy into hearing, understanding and respecting my clients, believing what they tell me, and checking in to ensure the space we share is safe and supportive. We build relational skills that clients then take into their own relationships outside of therapy, enriching their support networks to ensure success is sustained.

— Janae Andrew, Licensed Professional Counselor in Phoenix, AZ

The goal of couples counseling isn't to help you avoid or eliminate conflict. All relationships cycle from harmony, disharmony, and repair. The goal of my work is to help you repair more quickly and more effectively. Intimacy can be scary. It is, after all, making one's self vulnerable, allowing the other to see inside you. That's why we will also work to increase your self-awareness in therapy. How can you share of yourself if you don't know yourself?

— Mark Cagle, Counselor in Dallas, TX

Because I work relationally, it’s my goal that we develop a genuine relationship where we can safely have difficult conversations, have and resolve conflicts, and you feel comfortable experiencing vulnerability and a wide range of emotions from joy to pain. Therapy can create a reparative relational experience that brings you more self-understanding and helps you function with resilience and self-love in your interconnected world.

— Jennifer Alt, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist

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, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in Seattle, WA

The primary reason I chose to become a marriage and family therapist is because I believe in the impact of relationships on our lives; therefore, I have spent the past several years consuming current studies on relational therapy.  I bring a curiosity to my practice that invites family dynamics, environments, friendships, and romantic relationships to have a role in one's identity.  I believe relational therapy techniques can be used with anybody - individuals, couples, families, etc.

— Ajay Dheer, Registered Marriage and Family Therapist Intern in Beaverton, OR

Often times my clients find more stability in their lives when they are experiencing harmony in their relationships. An element of our work may be the utilization the relational skills/tools we use in session and adapting those to out of session relationships.

— Kassondra Wilson, Mental Health Counselor in , WA