What is Relational Psychotherapy?

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Relational Psychotherapy assert that people experience emotions within the context of their relationships with others. Sometimes, these relationships are harmful, making people think they can’t trust others. This lack of trust leads to “disconnection,” where a person isn’t in a healthy relationship because they don’t connect to the other person. Whether this is due to fear, a lack of attunement to other’s emotions, or past harmful relational experiences, Relational Psychotherapy works to identify these patterns and shift them.

Relational Psychotherapy can be helpful to people of any age, but counselors mainly use it for adults in individual, group, or couples therapy.

Human connection is vital to growth and change. Relational Psychotherapy supports the idea that people exist with others. Also meaningful is the relationship you maintain with yourself. Do you communicate with yourself in harmful ways? Are you constantly engaged in negative self-talk? Relational Psychotherapy aims to address your ways of relating to others and yourself.

Key to Relational Psychotherapy are the ideas of mutual empathy, connections, and being authentic. Your therapist will connect with you as a human being, not as the “expert” who knows better than you. Relational psychotherapists see that you know yourself best. They are simply there to show you that you can maintain a healthy relationship that has trust, connection, mutual empathy, and authenticity.

Part of the process is gaining insight into your patterns of relating to others and helping you shift any unhelpful patterns that lead to disconnection by modeling what a healthy relationship looks like. For this reason, the therapeutic relationship is the most important factor in Relational Psychotherapy.

Anyone looking to work on their relationship skills, deal with trauma or emotions from previous relationships or experiences, or with other mental health concerns can benefit from Relational Psychotherapy.

Therapists Who Specialize in Using Relational Psychotherapy

Denay Kelly, FNP-C, ARNP, PMHNP-BC



Hello and a warm welcome! I'm Denay Kelly, your compassionate Nurse Practitioner specializing in family practice, emergency medicine, Psychiatric and hospital medicine. With a rich educational background, including a Master's in Nursing, I've cultivated a wealth of expertise to ensure you receive top-notch care tailored to your needs. I value my patients and their opinion. The work we do togeth...

K. Chinwe Idigo, PhD


New Jersey

Idigo Forensic and Clinical Psychology, is a boutique private practice providing cutting edge psychological intervention. Whether you struggle with depression, anxiety, trauma, or stress, or are looking to improve relationships, and for personal growth, our interventions are tailored to treat the whole person. We are trained in a variety of interventions, and design a treatment plan that is tai...

Morgun Custer, Ph.D.



I am a licensed clinical psychologist practicing in Austin, Texas, and serving all of Texas and New York state. My practice specializes in recovery from depression, anxiety, trauma, and relationship problems. If you are interested in learning more, you can check out my practice website at (www.homeofmentalhealth.com).