Relational theory holds that the self develops within relationships, through participation and engagement with others, and that the valuing of and capacity for meaningful connection are important components of psychological health. Just as wounding happens in relationships (especially early and primary relationships), healing, also, can take place within relationship. The core of my work as a relational therapist is the concept that a therapeutic relationship, providing new relational experiences in a container of empathic attunement, can best facilitate healing. Empathy works by breaking through disconnection. Psychotherapy offers a relationship in which one can be visible and understood; it can heal by uncovering and validating the authentic Self.
The crucial contribution of feminist relational theorists is an emphasis on the importance of social and cultural contexts of people’s experience. In my work I attend to the impact of difference, power, and privilege. I am dedicated to the principles of social justice and approach the work with respect, acceptance, mutuality, and authenticity. I respect the client’s own inner authority and work towards her or his empowerment, rather than posing as an authority on the client’s problems.