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.

Meet the specialists


Working together on a level playing field, we will locate and identify your internal wisdom and the organic intelligence hidden in your body and your psyche. I believe that each of us has a hidden guide, or “breadcrumb trail” which we can follow into the forest of the unconscious. Much of our therapy process together will consist of us finding this internal, intuitive guide and discovering where you want to go next in your life.

— Connor Moss, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in Oakland, CA

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 you enter the room. Let's practice vulnerability together!

— Sam Krehel, Mental Health Counselor in Seattle, WA

As social animals, relationships are the core of our well being. We learn them first in our caregivers' arms, and then through siblings, friends, & others. I have extensive training in relational therapy, using radical transparency in our therapeutic relationship to highlight & strengthen your relational capacities, assisting you to build healthier, stronger, mutually respectful bonds of your own.

— Polly Harrison, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist Intern in Portland, OR

We are all relational beings seeking to make sense of the ourselves, others and the world. In response, the therapeutic relationship can be used as a vehicle to gain insight, self-compassion and understanding. Slowing down to consider why we (and others) act, believe and think the way we do can result in healthier relationships and boundaries while getting our needs met.

— Olivia Carollo, Clinical Psychologist in Chicago, IL

Relational Therapy (RT)work identifies, builds, and creates a person's relationships; professional, partner, food, etc. Identifying discord in relationships provides rich context in which to resolve conflicts, develop personal accountability, and improve relationships as a whole. It is crucial to RT that we include race, social class, culture, gender, identity and other factors as we work to alleviate possible symptoms such as anxiety, stress, depression, which leads to low-self esteem & more.

— Brendon Mendoza, Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Seattle, WA

A relational approach to therapy means that I will operate as an active participant in your therapy. The foundation of this work is the relationship between you and I and the dynamics that manifest during our sessions as they illuminate and relate to your other relationships. I often use the immediacy of the therapeutic relationship with the goal of increasing awareness and discovering previously hidden processes and beliefs that undermine well-being.

— Matthew Beeble, Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Vancouver, WA

In Relational Cultural Therapy we believe that healing happens in relationship and all people are impacted by culture.

— La Shanda Sugg, Licensed Professional Counselor in Mason, OH

Similar to what it sounds like, I use relational therapy to build our communication and understanding so that you are able to learn and practice new skills for your own relationships. This type of therapy is a style that most people enjoy because it feels less like a "session" and more like a conversation between friends.

— Amanda Dutton, Counselor in ,

As a collaborative, relational clinician with extensive clinical training and experience, I am passionate about creating a space in which honest, direct, and authentic communication is possible.

— Ben Greenberg, PsyD, Clinical Psychologist in Athens, GA

Often times, change occurs within the context of a relationship. While I will utilize immediate skills to help you feel better soon, we will also explore the underlying trends that allow this issue to arise. Chances are, this is not your first time feeling this way. Let's help you feel better now and stay feeling better for the years to come.

— Kevin Goldberg, Clinical Psychologist in DALLAS, TX

Relationships are potent places for us to repeat old, painful patterns or break free and create newer, healthier ways of interacting. Many of us have been hurt in relationships (family, friends, colleagues, romantic partners, etc). In therapy, the unique relationship we create together can help heal the residual wounds. It can also provide an update for what it feels like to show up as our authentic selves and be listened to, cared for, and respected, so we can take this new experience out into the world to create and sustain meaningful connections that feel aligned for us.

— Jessica Weikers, Marriage & Family Therapist in San Francisco, CA

Our relationships create us. As a relational therapist, I attune to the patterns and dynamics of how you learned to relate to others early in your life through present day. We'll examine together how these relational patterns have both benefited and held you back. As we get to know each other, the relationship we share on a weekly basis will be an important source of self-understanding and healing.

— Christine Hutchison, Mental Health Counselor in Seattle, WA

As humans, we need and exist in relationships; to others, to the environment, to ourselves. I believe that one of the most important aspects of my work with clients is developing a strong relationship based around safety and expression and use these experiences in therapy to help people understand the ways in which they relate to other aspects of their lives.

— Cayla Panitz, Licensed Professional Counselor in Portland, OR

Relation therapy, also known as relational-cultural therapy, affirms the intersectional identities of our clients. It views clients as being part of a complex web of systems and identity markers that can vary over time and context. Relational - cultural theory asserts that the root of our healing begins through mutually respected relationships. Relationships can be tools to discover new ways of being and vehicles for healing wounds from the past.

— Tayyibah Chase, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in San Francisco, CA

I use a relational lens.

— Kaycie Dale, Counselor in Edina, MN

I value the relationship I build with my clients above all else as research shows this to be one of the most important factors in therapy.

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

My work is informed by the importance of human relationships, as well as the relationship we have with ourselves and I bring this into my work as a therapist. Human beings are at their nature relational beings and the place we thrive the most is in relationships with others. I strive to help clients to create and maintain healthier and more fulfilling relationships.

— Misha Drlikova, Social Worker in Portland, OR

Just as the patterns that hold you back were wired within your earliest relationships, they only transform when met with gentleness and care. Understanding the neuroscience of relationship can help you understand and transform your challenges.

— Marc Otto, Creative Art Therapist in Portland, OR

I am certified in Relational Life Therapy and currently engage in coaching calls 3x/month to improve my skills.

— Victoria Easa, Clinical Social Worker in Norwood, MA

I have been trained and supervised in attending to my relationships with my clients. Research shows that the therapeutic relationship is the single most identifiable factor in therapy that the client finds helpful. In our work together, I will invite us to talk about our experiences with each other. Our relationship will have a lot to teach us.

— Meggie Twible, Therapist in Arlington Heights, IL

With the belief that we can only be fully known in relationship, relational therapy puts special emphasis on how we show up in relationships as a tool to empower others to live more fully

— Whitney Losee, Mental Health Counselor in Seattle, WA

A tenant of relational therapy is that relationships have a large impact on our emotional wellbeing and understanding who and how we are in relationships via attachment, cultural experiences, power/oppression, and historical experiences. As a relational therapist, I understand our relationship as an important piece of the work and my relational work is heavily informed by feminist therapy.

— Jesse Kahn, Sex Therapist in new york, NY

Relational therapy is a cross-cultural theoretical orientation that is all about the importance of relationships in our lives, including the therapeutic one. I resonate with relational therapy because I love to empower clients and share mutual empathy and authenticity.

— Savannah Stanley, Licensed Professional Counselor Intern in Austin, TX

My supervision at Core Psychotherapy focused on relational psychoanalytic psychotherapy. I work with defenses, transference, and countertransference to help uncover relational patterns that may have been helpful in the past, but are no longer.

— Ian Felton, Licensed Professional Counselor in Minneapolis, MN

I believe the therapeutic relationship to be the crux of our work together. I am committed to building trust between us and will utilize our relationship to understand how you show up in your life. To that end, I will show up as a real person who responds to you in real time. We will also explore your relational patterns throughout your life to form more secure, healthier connections in the future.

— Laurel Meng, Psychotherapist in Chicago, IL