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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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 Bethesda, MD

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

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

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

Through Relational Therapy, we explore the role each relationship plays in your life. It investigates what are the meanings and thoughts created out of those relationships. The idea is that strong and fulfilling relationships are the foundation for well-being.

— Bruna M. Lupo, Registered Mental Health Counselor Intern in Orlando, FL

Therapy with anyone in your life who is important to you! Parents, siblings, co-workers, couples looking to open up, couples looking to split up, co-parenting, step-parenting or any other relationship you'd like help improving.

— Angie Dion, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist

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

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. Once people are aware of the patterns they are engaging in, we are able to start working on changing them if needed.

— Ginny Kington, Psychologist in Duluth, GA

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

Relational therapy is all about how you show up in your life- how your identities interact within your relationships and day to day life. The important piece of this is that we will build rapport, a therapeutic relationship, in order to do work together! It's pretty awesome.

— Elaina Vig, Licensed Clinical Social Worker - Candidate in Saint Louis Park, MN

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

Psychodynamic psychotherapy brings a more rational lens to psychoanalytic therapy. Here, the relationship between therapist and client is key to helping process and heal past and present relational wounds.

— Spaces Therapy, Marriage & Family Therapist in Los Angeles, CA

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

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