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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We encourage you to view the therapeutic space as your “relational home,” where your experiences will be honored and held by our empathetic team of clinicians. Our goal is to collaborate to help you make meaning of your story, ultimately searching for opportunities for relief and personal growth. By embracing what happens in the therapeutic relationship, valuable information is gained and is helpful in our understanding of you and your opportunities for growth and healing.

— Brown Therapy Center, Psychotherapist in San Francisco, CA

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

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

We are formed in relationships. Using the therapeutic relationship as a tool is a powerful way to integrate theory into practice. Slowing down and noticing the process of therapy can have a profound impact.

— Zem Chance, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Eugene, OR

This framework believes that the relationship between the therapist and client is foundational to change. I don’t just work with a client’s exterior relationships - I also focus on what happens between the client and myself, and how that may be impacting external relationships as well. I seek to do this in a way that is compassionate, curious, and inviting of further exploration.

— Kayla Rees, Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Seattle, WA

The core foundation of good therapeutic work is a relationship built on warmth, authenticity, and trust, where all parties learn from one another. Our approach pays close attention to what is happening moment-to-moment and explores the ways that we are impacting each other. We know that therapy is incredibly vulnerable and can feel intimidating! Our therapists are not blank slates-knowing about the person you're sharing with and what they stand for makes sharing a little bit easier.

— Kindman & Co. Therapy Practice, Therapist in Los Angeles, CA

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

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

My approach to relationship counseling comes from my training in Integrative Systemic Therapy, in which we analyze the positive feedback loops that occur between people and solidify unhealthy patterns of relating, and discover ways to change these sequences to become more responsive than reactive. I am trained in aspects of the Gottman Method, Emotionally Focused Therapy, Imago, and Attachment Theory.

— Grace Norberg, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Oak Park, IL

Whether we are aware of it or not, our relationships with others impact how we view ourselves and the decisions we make. In order to make changes in the areas of our lives that we want to, it often takes a great deal of reflection to understand these systems and influences. With relational therapy, we can explore the influence relationships have on your life and decision-making, as well as how you can utilize those experiences to help create meaningful and desired change.

— Morghan Weber, Licensed Clinical Social Worker - Candidate in Denver, CO

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

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

I believe that the centrality of relationships in people's lives (women and non-Western folks in particular) has long been pathologized by the field of mental health. I believe that therapy by its nature is a deeply relational process where mutual growth and empowerment can occur. As a result, I bring my full authentic self to the therapeutic relationship.

— Sophia Boissevain, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in San Francisco, 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

The relationship you have with your psychotherapist is often indicative of how you relate outside of the therapy office. Similar patterns and projections arise -- we use the therapeutic relationship as a way of exploring your core needs and past traumas, and ultimately as a form of healing.

— Jeffrey Kishner, Mental Health Counselor in , NY

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

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

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

Through the therapeutic relationship and in-the-moment feedback, clients learn and grow and can apply lessons from sessions to their relationships outside the therapy room. Sessions and the therapeutic relationship are viewed as a microcosm of a client’s outside life.

— Jessica Magenheimer, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in , CA

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