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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The human connection is the most important part of therapy. This has been demonstrated over and over again, that the therapist we connect with is the best therapist for us, no matter what techniques they use.

— T.Lee Shostack, Clinical Social Worker in , MA

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

In sessions, our relationship is important in that it will often reflect how you are in relationships outside of the session. And I believe almost everything is a relationship, your marriage, family, work, your relationship to yourself. If you have difficulties with relationships our sessions will be a safe space to practice overcoming these issues.

— Tracy Sondern, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in Los Angeles, CA

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

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

You are the expert on your own life. I don't do cookie-cutter therapy and each session is led by you, processing the things YOU want to focus on. AJ believes our relationships (even the one we have with ourselves) is the foundation for mental relief of the symptoms that often keep us stuck or immobilized. And AJ focuses heavily on the relationship between each client and himself to model healthy boundaries and ways of positively interacting.

— AJ Rich, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Los Angeles, CA

As a therapist, I am keenly interested in the art and science of being "in-relationship." Good, relational psychotherapy is able to utilize the rich, dynamic, and here-and-now nature of the therapeutic relationship for the patient's benefit. I have found that patterns in the therapeutic relationship can often mimic patterns in patient's other relationships. Relationally-focused therapy can offer a reparative experience for those who have suffered neglect, abuse, and other relational traumas.

— Danny Silbert, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Philadelphia, PA

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 Clinical Counselor in Los Angeles, 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

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

Relationships are rich with opportunities to understand ourselves, to heal through corrective experiences and to create new frameworks to understand how to relate to others. For those who have endured deep pain and trauma in relationships, I undestand how important healthy boundaries and emotional safety are to develop real intimacy that heals. I welcome work on our relationship and will both bring my authenticity and emotions to our work when helpful for your healing and self understanding.

— Natalie Spautz, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Oakland, CA

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

— Rafe Stepto, Psychotherapist in Brooklyn, NY

My relational approach is influenced by attachment theory and psychodynamic therapies. I believe healing happens in the space between therapist and client through attuned, authentic connection. Sessions focus on our relationship and the interpersonal dynamics unfolding in the room. My role is to be fully present and engaged with you and your unfolding narrative without judgment. I believe the therapeutic relationship is the vehicle for increased self-awareness, vulnerability and change.

— Bee Cook, Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor Associate in Seattle, WA

Based on the large body of evidence that the therapeutic relationship is a key determinant of successful treatment, much of my work is framed by a relational and psychodynamic approach. I prioritize creating a safe and healing relational experience and believe that most mental health symptoms cannot be fully treated without addressing their unconscious roots. Experiencing care and support in the context of the therapeutic relationship can be just as important as the specific interventions.

— Brooke Ferragamo, Clinical Psychologist in San Francisco, CA

As a proponent of interpersonal theory, and a disciple of Harry Stack Sullivan's work, I use Sullivan's approach of treating individuals with respect, empathy, kindness, and compassion (not only the people I work with).

— Michael Serpico, Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor in Hallandale Beach, FL

A strong therapeutic relationship between a patient and therapist is pivitor for growth and healing. I have a very relaxed and warm style that is grounded in relational-cultural theory. This means that I focus on building a strong therapeutic connection while exploring relationship patterns, identities, and cultural elements.

— Tonya Grieb, Post-Doctoral Fellow in Lakewood, CO

My therapeutic style is grounded in Relational-Cultural Theory and focused on building a strong therapeutic connection while exploring relationship patterns, relationship- and self-beliefs, improving self-worth, and modeling relationship effectiveness. I have focused my professional training on becoming an expert in trauma-informed, empowering, and multiculturally sensitive psychological care with a highly developed understanding of how gender issues impact interpersonal relationship.

— Jeanine Moreland, Clinical Psychologist in Chicago, IL

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