Relational psychotherapy is one of many different types of psychotherapy practiced, and the various styles of psychotherapy are not necessarily distinct. This means that relational psychotherapy has things in common with other modalities.
For me, one of the important aspects of relational psychotherapy is the acknowledgement that the therapeutic relationship is a real relationship between two human beings.
It is not a doctor-patient, or expert-inexperienced kind of relationship. Although I take my training very seriously, and it greatly informs the questions I ask and the thoughts I share, if there is an expert in the therapy room, it is the client. The client is the only one who knows what it is like to be the client, and my job as a therapist is to work hard to understand the client’s perspective to the best of my ability.
I do so not only by listening, but also by asking a lot of questions. As the client explains how things are for them, helping me understand as fully as possible, what usually happens is that things start to make more sense to the client; we make sense of their story together.
Having someone else who cares really trying to understand how things are for you may sound like a simple thing, and I suppose it is, but it is also immensely powerful. Most of us have not had that experience in our relationships, and as a result often feel frustrated, not heard and not connected. By striving to understand how things are for you, I can offer you a relationship where you are heard, and where you feel connected, and not just connected to a caring therapist, but more and more connected to yourself, by having a safe place to explore your thoughts and feelings and make more sense of your story.
This empathically based relationship is the foundation of the work done in the therapy hour and is often enough, by itself, to shift things for the client. It is supported by the theoretical understanding I have of various psychological issues due to my training. Sometimes, theoretical information I can share with clients proves to be very useful for them.
I treat my clients with care, empathy and respect. I also very much enjoy my work. I would welcome the opportunity to work with you, or just to meet for an initial consultation to help you decide if you would like to work with me.