Welcome to my approach to Relational Life Therapy (RLT). In this approach, I combine the principles of RLT with my own personal experiences and methodologies to create a unique and effective form of therapy for couples.
I have a background in exercise physiology and wellness, and I became a therapist after realizing that many of my clients had underlying emotional reasons for unhealthy habits. I earned a Master's in Clinical Social Work and opened a private practice in Greenville. I have also trained extensively, and directly with Terry Real, in RLT. Read more about me here.
Aligned with brain science
Brain science emerged at the same time that Relational Life Therapy became popular, and neuropsychologists were impressed with the limbic system activation and neural pathways that it created. The beauty of this model is that it teaches people how to "reparent" themselves and how to be their own therapist.
Differences with traditional talk therapy
RLT (Relational Life Therapy) is a form of therapy that emphasizes the importance of interpersonal relationships and the ways in which our early relationships with caregivers shape our attachment styles and patterns of relating to ourselves and others throughout our lives. Traditional talk therapy, on the other hand, typically focuses on exploring and resolving individual psychological issues or symptoms.
Some specific differences between RLT and traditional talk therapy:
- Focus on relationships: RLT focuses on understanding and improving our relationships with ourselves and others, while traditional talk therapy typically centers on individual psychological concerns.
- Emphasis on attachment: RLT views our early attachment experiences as crucial to understanding our current patterns of relating to others, while traditional talk therapy may not place as much emphasis on attachment theory, and other models may primarily focus on teaching attachment and not add the coaching necessary for creating new patterns for connection.
- Use of experiential techniques: RLT often incorporates experiential techniques such as role-playing, empty chair work, and mindfulness exercises to help clients access, explore and process their emotions and relational patterns. Traditional talk therapy may rely more on discussion and exploration of thoughts and feelings, cognitively only.
- Focus on the present moment: RLT emphasizes the importance of being present in the moment and paying attention to the dynamics of the therapeutic relationship as they unfold in real-time. Traditional talk therapy may be more focused on exploring past experiences and their impact on the present.
- Therapist as coach: RLT takes on a coaching role, providing guidance and feedback to the client in their exploration of relational patterns and dynamics, while traditional talk therapy often emphasizes self-exploration, with the therapist serving as a supportive listener and facilitator of the client's own process of understanding themselves. The therapist in RLT will give specific techniques and exercises to help the client develop new relational skills, while in traditional talk therapy the therapist may help the client develop insight into patterns and beliefs that may be contributing to their difficulties.
Additional Methodologies I utilize in practice
In addition to RLT, I incorporate other methodologies into my approach to therapy. These include:
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): This form of therapy focuses on changing negative thought patterns and behaviors.
- Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR): This form of therapy involves practicing mindfulness to manage stress and improve emotional regulation.
- Internal Family Systems (IFS): This form of therapy involves identifying and working with different parts of oneself to achieve greater self-awareness and healing.
- Attachment-Based Therapy: This form of therapy focuses on interpersonal relationships and their impact on emotional well-being.
- EMDR Therapy: (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) involves using eye movements and sensory techniques to help people process traumatic memories and emotions often tied to PTSD and anxiety.
- Memory Reconsolidation and interpersonal neurobiology
How to work with me?
Relational Bootcamp is a psychoeducational group that I offer for couples in a group setting of roughly 30 total people. It is an intensive weekend educational and therapeutic experience designed to help couples make significant progress in a short amount of time.Read about Bootcamp
Couples Intensive is a 2 day, 7 hours a day, private, intensive therapeutic experience which includes a thorough assessment, goal setting, education, therapeutic interventions and homework assignments for couples ready to do focused work on their relationship.Read about Couples Intensive
Couples Therapy is a 50 or 100 minute session typically every other week at the beginning where we check in on progress with the homework and continue to fine tune the practices where needed.Read about Couples Therapy