I specialize in a form of psychotherapy called Relational Life Therapy (RLT), which has become more popular in recent years due to its effectiveness and the emerging neuroscience that backs it up. In this article, I'll discuss the history of my practice, my personal background, the differences between RLT and traditional psychotherapy models, and why I believe it's a preferred and effective form of therapy.

First, my background:

I grew up in the 60s, with parents who were into consciousness and spirituality. My dad taught me how to meditate, but like any rebellious teenager, I abandoned those teachings for a while and went all-in on physical wellness. After getting my undergraduate degree in exercise physiology, I worked as a Wellness Director at a hospital. It was there that I noticed many of my clients had underlying emotional issues affecting their health. That realization pushed me to pursue a graduate degree in Clinical Social Work (CSW), so I could better help them. Afterward, I opened my private practice in Greenville, SC, where I've been ever since.

As my family grew, I found myself longing for a relationship that was less traditional and more interdependent and intimate than my own marriage. Like many couples, my husband and I went to marriage counseling, but it didn't exactly go as planned. We even got fired from one therapist! So I set out to find alternative forms of therapy that could better fit our needs and give us some relief.

Discovering RLT

I first heard about Relational Life Therapy (RLT) at the Psychotherapy Networker Conference almost 20 years ago, when Terry Real spoke about the model he had developed. The RLT model takes a different approach than traditional couples counseling, which tends to be more neutral and impartial. Instead, we takes “sides”! We take the side of the behavior and partner who is attempting to be more relational. Not that they don’t have their own work-but we focus on what behaviors are undermining the relational goals most-First!

This model resonated with me, and I decided to pursue it further. I've found that the RLT model is noticeably more effective even for therapists just starting out with the model, and its efficacy is supported by the emerging field of neuropsychology. The RLT model teaches people how to repair themselves, settle their own nervous system, and how to practice over and over again outside of therapy. Through my own experiences, I've come to believe that RLT is a great form of therapy for individuals and couples seeking to improve their relationships.

Continually Growing

I haven't limited myself to the RLT model of therapy but have instead sought to augment and grow my practice by incorporating additional modalities. I have some training in various other models of therapy, including Gottman, Emotionally Focused Therapy, Somatic work, Imago, and Internal Family Systems. While I've found value in each of these models, I believe that RLT is the most effective model for helping people to cultivate more relationally within themselves and with others. I am a dedicated, continuous learner always incorporating the latest information into my practice.

By incorporating additional modalities into my practice, I've been able to create a unique approach that is dynamically my own. I draw from my extensive training and experience to develop treatment plans that are tailored to the individual needs of my clients. My approach is compassionate and non-judgmental, and I seek to meet my clients where they are in their journey towards greater relational health. Through my work, I've helped many people transform their relationships and their lives.

robin mckenna

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