Interpersonal relationships have a profound impact on the development of a person’s sense of self, their behaviors, and their ability to successfully navigate through life. Relational therapy helps us explore the nature and effects of these relationships, particularly as they relate to psychological distress. Based in the belief that meaningful connection with other people is a basic human need, relational therapy seeks to instill understanding of each person’s experience within the context of their relationships with others. Early childhood experiences can be particularly significant in the formation of a person’s perspective, behavioral patterns, and stress responses, but all relationships inform how a person relates to themselves and the world around them. By examining your social connections, you will explore sources of past distress and improve current and future relationships. You will also gain new insights into yourself, examine how relationships inform your mental health disorder, and learn new skills to facilitate personal growth and empowerment.
This form of psychotherapy uses social constructivist theory to explore the power dynamics created by gender, race, class, and sexual orientation to gain a more full understanding of how relationships function and influence participants. Social constructivism maintains that people’s behaviors and perceptions are deeply informed by culture, social location, and social interchange. Understanding how sociocultural factors shape your interpersonal dynamics can encourage self-reflexivity and help you create new perspectives on your interactions with others.
Relational therapy is a broadly applicable treatment that can be useful for a wide variety of mental health disorders, including anxiety, depression, personality disorders, and trauma disorders. It can also offer new possibilities for the treatment of psychotic disorders by understanding the illnesses within a broader social and cultural context.
Because social connections are regarded as central to human experience, your therapist will work with you to create a strong, trusting, supportive rapport that serves as a model for other relationships in your life. Experiencing a harmonious therapeutic alliance can be particularly valuable if you suffer from attachment disorder, or if you have experienced childhood abuse. It can help you feel comfort, safety, and relief. This dynamic can also help you determine whether or not other relationships are mutually beneficial or harmful, and help you make informed decisions regarding your social life.
The highly trained therapists at Bridges to Recovery use relational therapy in concert with other approaches to maximize treatment effectiveness and target your unique mosaic of symptoms. Immersion in a multifaceted, responsive therapeutic environment allows you to see rapid progress and restored health.
We invite you to contact us to discuss how relational therapy and Bridges to Recovery can help you or your loved one.