Relational therapy

Relational therapy

What is relational therapy?

Relational therapy is a sort of talk therapy that uses a psychodynamic approach to treatment. The premise that our social surroundings and relationships form us and that having strong relationships is vital for our wellness and self-esteem is at the heart of the relational therapy method. As a result our emotional pain is linked to relational concerns from a relational standpoint.

Relational therapy looks at how our prior experiences impact who we are and how we relate to others. Its goal is to provide people with new and more useful methods to interact in the present. This in turn improves our interpersonal interactions and as a result our emotional and psychological wellbeing.

What can relational therapy help with?

Through the perspective of relationships the treatment aims to assist people who are experiencing distress for a variety of causes. Relationship issues are assumed to be linked to the distress in some manner. Conflict in your relationship with your partner owing to trust or communication challenges are just a few examples of relationship issues.

Pushing away new people you meet even if you had like to be friends with them

Feeling anxious every time you deal with people at work

Problems with family or workplace relationships

Relational therapy can help with any type of problematic relationship pattern not only romantic partner interactions.


Does relational therapy work?

Its difficult to know how beneficial relational therapy is because it can be given in a variety of ways. However evidence suggests that relational based interventions can be successful treatments. Individuals with personality disorder diagnosis for example showed equivalent benefits from either brief relationship therapy or cognitive behavior therapy according to one study. Before any clear judgments concerning the effectiveness of relational therapy can be drawn more research is needed.

How does relational therapy work?

Psychodynamics the principle that our thoughts and behaviors are impacted by our unconscious and past experiences is used in relational therapy.

The focus of relational therapy is on how our prior relationship experiences are enacted in current interactions leading to problematic ways of relating to others and resulting in unhappiness and detachment. Understanding these previous connections and how they influenced us is crucial in understanding why we feel horrible about ourselves in today encounters.

This is significant because relationship issues are thought to be a major contributor to mental health issues such as:




In everyday encounters and as they arise in the therapeutic relationship your therapist will assist you in uncovering these connections and patterns. You will work together to discover and work through the patterns so they do not have as much of an impact on your current thoughts and actions. You discover new and more useful ways to interact with others which improves your relationships and overall wellbeing.

Relational therapy places a high emphasis on the therapeutic relationship between the therapist and the client. Interactions with your therapist might reflect what going on in your relationships outside of therapy providing a safe space to experiment with new ways of relating to people.

What to look for in a therapist for relational therapy

When choosing a therapist keep the following considerations in mind:



Personal compatibility


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