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Relational Psychotherapy: Enriching the Psychodynamic Repertoire

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Relational psychotherapy is often referred to as a “two-person psychology” which acknowledges that there are two full subjectivities in the therapy room. This is in distinction to classical psychoanalysis which saw itself as a “one-person psychology”. Rather than an emphasis on the instinctual drives highlighted by traditional theory, interpersonal relationships are seen as the basis of human development. During this session of the 2020 Gathering of the New Global PSP community, Dr. Ronit Bisson looked at some of the basic ideas of relational psychotherapy.

 

 

 

Following are key points made by Dr. Bisson during this presentation:

We are born in and grow through relationships. Our personal problems arise in and through relationship.

Relational Psychotherapy promote the therapeutic relationship, rather than the individual client, as the primary focus of therapy.

Our sense of self forms in the context of our relationships. It is through the therapeutic relationship that change takes place. Both client & practitioner influence the relationship.

There are two subjective participants in the therapy room, each of them trying to make sense of the client’s issues.

Two-person psychology approach where people are seen as always in-relation with others. Rather than an emphasis on the instinctual drives highlighted by traditional theory.

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