A relational therapist is an therapist who focuses on healing and mending the relationships between individuals, rather than focusing on just one individual as in more traditional forms of therapy. This job requires a lot of training and a great deal of commitment, but it can also be very rewarding for those who are willing to put forth the time and the effort.
What are the various types of relational therapists?Relational therapists have a great deal of freedom when it comes to the type of individuals that they will work with and the types of therapies that they will use in dealing with these individuals. Some therapists will work as family therapists, helping to solve problems and issues within entire family units. Others may provide couples counseling, counseling between siblings, or even counseling relating to problems in the workplace. Some relational therapists focus on the actual therapy relationship itself, using the bonds and dynamics formed in therapy to illustrate a proper relationship. Most relational therapists will specialize in one particular area of counseling, though others will work with a wide range of individuals and of situations. Types of therapy or counseling techniques that a relational therapist may use include communication therapy, psychoeducation, components of traditional psychotherapy, relationship or domestic violence education, systemic coaching, systems theory, reality therapy, basic conflict resolution, or, more commonly, some combination of these techniques. Because there are so many different ways of conducting relational therapy, it is important for relational therapists to have well rounded knowledge about all the different techniques and how to use them properly.
Where do Relational Therapists Work?
The vast majority of relational therapists will be employed in private practices. After many years of experience and advanced schooling, some therapists working in private practices will go on to open their own practices. Additionally, some relational therapists may be employed by state or county agencies, such as local mental health centers or within school systems. Relational therapists may also be hired by various companies, usually larger ones, who use relational therapists to help educate employees about conflict resolution and other useful skills that can be helpful in the work place. Some will also work in private rehabilitation centers, such as drug or eating disorder clinics, or in private hospitals to help individuals discover family or relationship issues that may have affected their lives and to conduct family or group sessions periodically. A small percent of relational therapists will conduct assessment surveys or employment screenings for larger companies to assess which employees or potential employees are the most likely to cause problems in the workplace or to upset the work environment.
When searching for a job, relational therapists should carefully consider how their own skills, interests, and desires would interact with a particular job. Someone who enjoys working closely and directly with individuals, for example, would probably not be a good fit for an assessment job. Furthermore, some therapists may only wish to take jobs working with individuals in a certain status in life (such as being married) or with individuals within a certain age range. Taking the time to accurately reflect upon what one wants in a job is the best way to find a good and lasting career match.