Written by
Danielle Laycock

What Is Considered “Relational Psychotherapy”?

Published on 
February 23, 2021

We are designed and created for relationship; therefore without it, life seems meaningless. Having healthy and thriving significant relationships with others are vital to living a healthy life. It is through relating to others that we really begin to understand ourselves. It is vital to our emotional and mental health to know someone else cares for you, because it is through relationship that our deepest longings can be met and satisfied. A person who is loved and trusted by at least one other human being has a better chance of facing the world with little fear. There is reason why God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him” (Gen. 2:18). Therefore relational psychotherapy is an approach that helps people believe and understand that relationships play an impactful role on how a person views themselves. Often times if a person feels depressed or anxious the root comes from tension or breakdowns in either a relationship or the inability to connect with another person. 

We need to be connected with others, in fact the wellbeing of our emotional and psychological sate require it. The concepts that relational psychotherapy walk through consists of helping a person understand that maintaining satisfying and fulfilling relationships matter. Being disconnected ultimately leads to depression, anxiety and other disorders. Relational psychotherapy helps a person see how they may be unconsciously sabotaging a deep connection with someone. This therapy helps individuals find value in themself so that they can shine their authentic, real self. A relationship is successful when a person can be himself or herself. The root of the problem is often found in the past, as past relationships tend to determine how we respond and act around people in the present. The altered lens you see relationships started somewhere. Even though the past is where the root can be found, the root may have come from a variety of factors such as culture, race, class or gender, these are all dynamics that can affect a person’s view of relationships. 

One of the most important pieces of relational psychotherapy is the relationship between the individual and therapist. As the individual and therapist work together a strong, collaborative and secure relationship begins to form creating the perfect model for future relationships the individual can begin to develop. Relational psychotherapy ultimately helps a person discover relational awareness and gives insight on how they operate in relation to others and how it is affecting their mental and emotional wellbeing. 

Relational Psychotherapy can reestablish the gumption to fully live life, to have revitalized mental and emotional energy, motivation to build satisfying relationships, have a greater desire to connect rather than push away, become open to trust another individual and have a better self-esteem. There is power in relationships, there is power when people join together to encourage, strengthen and love one another. It reminds a person that they are not alone and that others have struggles as well but those obstacles are best overcome when done together. 

The reality is we need to have a right relationship with God and with one another; it is then that we can live abundantly. Jesus says it this way, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10b NIV). Relationship brings meaning and worth to life. We NEED each other!

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