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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Relational therapy sometimes referred to as relational-cultural therapy, is a therapeutic approach based on the idea that mutually satisfying relationships with others are necessary for one’s emotional well-being. This type of psychotherapy takes into account social factors, such as race, class, culture, and gender, and examines the power struggles and other issues that develop as a result of these factors, as well as how they relate to the relationships in a person’s life.

— Susan Stork, Sex Therapist in Baltimore, MD

I believe that it is the relationship between client and therapist that is the most important curative factor in therapy.

— Jonathan Lebolt, PhD, Psychotherapist in Livingston, NJ

Many people find being in deep and authentic connection with others in the outside world to be terrifyingly vulnerable. I see therapy as the perfect opportunity to explore how to be in healthy relationship with a safe other. My job is to create a safe and inviting space, tailor made for you, your lived experience, and your needs each time we meet. Let's practice vulnerability together!

— Sam Krehel, Mental Health Counselor in , 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

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

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 in Alexandria, VA

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

Relational therapy is about strengthening relationship-building skills and addressing issues involving relationships from the past. It can also be defined as building a relationship with one’s therapist. Building connections with others helps initiate individual growth.

— Corrie Blissit, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist

Relational Therapy (RT) is an approach rooted in Psychodynamic Therapy. Psychodynamic therapy puts emphases on the psychological cause of emotional pain. Self-reflection and self-examination are its major focus. RT asserts the relationship is in fact what is needed for true reflection, examination, and ultimately change. Major tenants of RT are the therapist's stance, authenticity, presence, reflection, and engagement.

— Gary Alexander, Therapist in Vancouver, WA

From my foundation as a Person-Centered Counselor, I have begun practicing counseling through the lens of relationships. I explain to my clients that we exist in many relationship structures, and that the most important relationship we have is with our own self. I help my clients explore how they can develop a more compassionate relationship with self as if they were their own friend. I have observed that this can directly lead to feeling more authentic in interpersonal relationships.

— Braden Weinmann, Licensed Professional Counselor Associate in ,

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

— Rafe Stepto, Psychotherapist in Brooklyn, NY

Our relationships with our partners, friendships, & selves are deeply connected to whether we felt heard, understood, & safe growing up. I provide individual & relational therapy with the goal of understanding this context & how it impacts us in order to effectively address problems that you're experiencing today.

— MacKenzie Knapp, Marriage & Family Therapist in Tacoma, WA

I specialize in relational therapy, which is related to psychodynamic therapy and explores how our past experiences of relationships may have influenced our patterns of relating to others. Relational therapy uses the therapeutic relationship as a learning lab to shed light on our relationship patterns and try out new relationship behaviors.

— Rhiannon Fink, Licensed Professional Counselor in Nederland, CO

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

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

Relational therapy is a way of interacting or communicating within the therapist-client relationship that embodies core values such as respect, inclusiveness, honesty, compassion, cooperation and humility. Relational therapy draws on those core values and emphasizes how having positive relationships is essential for our wellbeing and self-esteem.

— Kasey Wiggam, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Indianapolis, IN

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

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