Relational psychotherapy and psychoanalysis | E Therapy

Relational psychotherapy and psychoanalysis

This therapy uses the ideas of psychoanalysis, humanistic and feminist theories.

It is an experiential therapy with the client’s experiences and needs dictating what happens in the work. The way the therapist works is by utilising the moment and trying to understand how the narrative of the client is about his or her relational history, the self-with-other and how this impacts their well-being.

The relational therapist uses the concept that we are contextual beings in relation to societal, political and familial norms and are shaped by these perspectives. And therefore anything explored in the session will also have an interactional pattern and it is about making sense of these connections. By being open to exploring thoughts, behaviour that cause the client to be vulnerable, the latter finds they have inner resources they can draw upon to choose to behave differently in other relationships and in relation to self.

There are three main ways that a relational therapist works to enable a client:

  • Daily relationships with family, friends and colleagues.
  • How these may make a client feel bad about themselves – there may be patterns from early life.
  • Being aware of the relationship between client and therapist – if there are any misapprehensions going on.

The therapist will use ideas from psychoanalysis about the unconscious, but not Freudian or Jungian ideas, to help the client make sense of how they respond in relationships.

This therapy is suitable for adults who want to work in an intense way over a long period of time.