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

Diana Soler, MHC-LP


New York

Transformation Counseling Services, LLC is an online health practice whose mission to provide affordable and accessible culturally responsive counseling to individuals from historically marginalized communities. Our therapists understand the critical need for decolonized counseling spaces and access to providers from diverse cultural backgrounds.

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).

Kate Dufek



I am a trauma-informed relational psychotherapist for adults and young adults in Washington state. I work with those who are hard on themselves, folks who feel stuck, the overwhelmed and burnt out, exhausted perfectionists and people pleasers. Many of my clients are folks in their 20’s and 30’s navigating seasons of change, who seek out weekly therapy as a place to explore the depths and emotio...
Too often in early life, you experience events that silence you. This can leave you feeling lost, stuck, ashamed, and lonely – many times looking to others to dictate your career, personality, and even partners! Inspired by my own journey, I am passionate about providing therapy to help others explore their own paths and work toward a healing understanding of themselves. These life passages can…