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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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
 

Relational-cultural theory, and by extension, relational-cultural therapy (RCT) stems from the work of Jean Baker Miller, M.D.. Often, relational-cultural theory is aligned with the feminist and or multicultural movements in psychology. In fact, RCT embraces many social justice aspects from these movements. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Relational-cultural_therapy

— Michele Yurgin, Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Rainier, OR

As humans, we are relational beings. I believe that what transpires in the therapy room is a unique and valuable exchange that enables a non-judgmental, in the moment discussion of how we are impacting one another.

— Lindsay Anderson, Licensed Professional Counselor 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

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
 

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, Marriage and Family Therapist Associate in Portland, OR
 

Relational Therapy values the relationship between the client and therapist to work through psychological and behavioral issues. Relationships are considered central to mental/emotional health and the therapeutic relationship is used to help facilitate awareness, growth, and positive change. The concepts of Relational Therapy are Relatedness, Transference and Countertransference between the client and therapist, Enactment, Projective Identification, Intersubjectivity, and Self-Disclosure.

— Feliz Lucia Molina, Associate Clinical Social Worker in Los Angeles, 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
 

Embracing what happens between us as valuable information needed in our understanding of you and your opportunities for growth and healing.

— David Brown, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in San Francisco, CA

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 , CO
 

Relationships matter, including your relationship with your therapist. Our work together will use what happens in therapy as a way of gaining more insight on what is happening in your relationships outside of therapy.

— Bronwyn Shiffer, Clinical Social Worker in Madison, WI

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
 

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

Our damage happened through relationships with other people, so it needs to be healed through our relationships with other people. Our earliest experiences starting in the womb shape our bodies and our brains and impact how we are able to interact with the world around us. It takes repeated positive interactions in order to heal the repeated negative interactions that so many experienced as infants and toddlers.

— Tia (Christia) Young, Counselor
 

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

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