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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Therapy is a very particular kind of relationship, but a relationship none the less. Sometimes dynamics and patterns you experience outside of therapy will find their way into therapy too. This creates a perfect opportunity to work through whatever feelings may be coming up in the moment and to explore them in real time to create deeper understanding and change.

— Laurie Ebbe-Wheeler, Licensed 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

Relational therapy understands that our relationships with others can be at the core of our unhappiness or happiness, and that life can only be lived with others. And yet-- living with others can be hard! How do we bridge these two things? By understanding *your* role in a relationship, you can focus on where you have control and make your life and relationships better.

— Yoheved Retig, Licensed Master of Social Work in , NY

We'll explore your past and current relationships with friends, family, and even yourself, and use that information to help you cultivate the relationships you want moving forward. When appropriate, we'll also look at our relationship, and how you show up in the therapy room, and see if there are any patterns or habits you'd like to celebrate and strengthen, or any you'd like to shift.

— Dena Ehrlich, Marriage and Family Therapist Associate in Oakland, CA

I believe open and trusting relationships are at the core of successful therapy. When we are willing and able to be vulnerable in a therapeutic relationship, there is so much opportunity for growth.

— Katie Nissly, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in St. Paul, MN

Trained to focus on therapeutic relationship, transference, and countertransference.

— K. Chinwe Idigo, Psychologist in Teaneck NJ 07666, NJ

Relational psychotherapy is an offshoot of psychoanalysis or psychoanalytic psychotherapy, both of which have a long and varied history going back to Sigmund Freud. As its basic premise, psychoanalysis assumes that people are often unaware of the factors that contribute to their mental and emotional state, and that uncovering these unconscious processes and assumptions leads to wellness. The way it is practiced today, there is a wide variety of approaches and styles in psychoanalysis (i.e. Freudian, Jungian, Object-Relations, Relational) that can look and feel quite different from the stereotype of the silent analyst saying only “Mmm Hmm” as the patient talks. Psychoanalysis is distinguished from psychoanalytic psychotherapy by both the frequency and setup of therapy. In psychoanalysis the patient usually comes in 2 – 5 times per week and often lays on a couch facing away from the therapist, whereas psychoanalytic psychotherapy incorporates the same theories and methodology of analysis without the same level of involvement. Psychoanalysts are required to undergo an additional educational training that often lasts for many years before being able to be called an analyst and perform analysis, whereas many therapists work from psychoanalytically-informed perspective and are well-trained in a psychoanalytic approach.

— Bear Korngold, Clinical Psychologist in San Francisco, CA

I often work with clients from a relational perspective which means that I look at their patterns of relating to others, and how these patterns often originate from relationships earlier in life. Even though they begin early in life, they often continue throughout life, and they may cause problems in adulthood. Once people are aware of the interpersonal patterns they are engaging in during adulthood, we are able to start working on altering them if needed.

— Ginny Kington, Psychologist in Duluth, GA

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 Beverly Hills, 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, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Santa Monica, CA

I am relational and systemic oriented, as my work centers around people and their experiences in relation to themselves, others, systems, and the world.

— Erica Garcia, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Ann Arbor, MI

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 value the relationship I build with my clients. Research shows this to be one of the most important factors in therapy. I believe that our hurts happen in relationships, but so does our healing. Therapy with me is a non-judgemental, unconditionally compassionate, and curious space. With these qualities, we build trust and a safer space where you can explore deeply without fear of shame or re-traumatization.

— Ellen Line, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Baltimore, MD

With Masters level education and training and Marriage and Family Therapy, I see things relationally. Problems, solutions, struggles, and strengths all have a relational and systemic component. I work with couples and families, but also apply relational understandings to all individuals' situations.

— Erik Rinke, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Golden Valley, MN