Relational Therapist in Chicago
As the name implies, Tandem Psychology promotes wellness through synchronized collaboration between you – the expert on your well-being – and our therapists – trained and experienced relational therapy experts. We believe that, like riding a tandem bicycle, synchronized collaboration between you and your therapist will produce the most efficient and successful results. We recognize the importance of this partnership to explore fresh understandings and underlying feelings. Through this relational therapy work, you can gain more freedom to work, learn, play, and love. Common topics of relational therapy include:
- Do you know how you impact others in relationships?
- Need help trusting others?
- Feel like you're too much or not enough?
- Want to improve communication?
- Are past relationships impacting your current relationships?
We understand that genuine, meaningful relationships are at the core of your mental health, which is why we believe in and practice relational therapy. Your personal attachments - when deep, consistent, and secure - keep you healthy and serve as buffers to other stressors in your life. But, when disrupted, depression, anxiety, stress, panic, indecisiveness, guilt, fatigue, and general dissatisfaction are common.
Truly understanding our relationships and the ways that we impact those with whom we engage is difficult. We all have blind spots and patterns of relating that we don’t even notice. Relational therapy utilizes the relationship between you and your relational therapist to better understand your way of navigating life and seeing the world. In this way, relational therapy is a practice ground for understanding yourself and the ways you interact with others and your world.
Our therapists use their relationship with you as a tool to explore what is keeping you stuck and to cultivate change. We work diligently to create an affirming, open, and empathetic environment that facilitates genuine connection. This strong relationship enables us to explore problems that you may have, learn skills to live more fully, and ultimately achieve your goals.
Relationally Focused Psychodynamic Theory (RFPT) is an evidence based treatment, and form of relational therapy, that creates change through the therapeutic relationship. RFPT is built on the belief that we are conceived in relationship, formed in relationship, harmed in relationship, and transformed in relationship. As such, the relationship between you and your relational therapist is the key to transformational change. Practical skills and focus on specific behaviors may be part of the work, but only as they naturally evolve from focusing on the relationship.
Authenticity of the relationship is key!
Tandem Psychology's relationally focused psychodynamic therapists focus on cultivating authenticity in the therapeutic process. This means that no two relational therapists work the same, instead responding to the uniqueness of each relationship.
RFPT is organic and intuitive. It is also rooted in exploring, re-experiencing, and re-imagining a person’s internal world through attention to emotion, unconscious arousals, and replications of the person’s internal work within the therapeutic relationship. The relational therapist will consider the intent of individual therapy, listen deeply, attend to the here and now, and observe ways in which clients engage. In this way, the relationship between you and your relational therapist will be the primary instrument of change.
Schedule an appointment with a relationally focused psychodynamic therapist today!
Feminist therapy is a person-centered, relational therapy approach in which the person, culture, and politics are intertwined. Tandem Psychology's therapists understand that social equity is essential to mental health and that the relationship between the therapist and you must be an active part of that equity. As such, our individual therapists seek to level traditional power dynamics in the client-therapist relationship, viewing you as a collaborator and an expert on your own experience.
What can you expect?
Your Chicago feminist therapist will maintain an authentic relationship with you. In order to do so, your individual therapist may share information about themselves that can be helpful and will elicit and encourage your feedback throughout your work.
In an effort to empower you, your feminist therapist may teach you about a particular aspect of mental health or may share ways in which you can gain knowledge about issues that arise in therapy. You can also expect your therapist to be analyzing privilege and power dynamics and their impact on social position, experiences, self-worth, choices, and behaviors.
By contextualizing your experience and behavior within a larger socio-political context, your feminist therapist will help normalize the experience and move away from pathologizing feelings, thoughts, and actions. Finally, your feminist therapist is committed to the ongoing work toward social justice and equality in their lives as well as offering social justice activism as a possible intervention to you.
Is feminist therapy only about women?
While the origin and evolution of feminist theories was, indeed, focused on the impact of oppression and marginalization on cis-gendered women’s health - contemporary feminist therapists at Tandem Psychology prioritize inclusivity and diversity of experience including race, culture, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, body size, ability, and other marginalized identities. By considering intersections of identities, culture, and politics, our feminist therapists can gain a more representative understanding of your identity and experience in the world.
Schedule an appointment for relational therapy with a feminist therapy today!
Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT) is a relational therapy approach that focuses on social and interpersonal contexts. By doing so, IPT therapists at Tandem Psychology can identify the underlying reasons for specific symptoms, like depression, OCD, panic, and anxiety. Your IPT, relational therapist will look for what is currently happening in your life and encourage coping with these current problems as well as develop greater self-reliance outside of the context of individual therapy.
Interpersonal, relational therapists believe that the most impactful environment for mental health consists of close personal relationships and attachments. These personal connections, including how available or disrupted they are, can powerfully influence the emergence of problems like depression and anxiety. As such, IPT therapists focus on situations in which personal attachments are disrupted including grief, interpersonal role transitions, deficits in interpersonal relationships or skills, relationship disputes, and relationship losses or divorce.
What problems and challenges are addressed?
IPT was originally developed to treat depression, but has since been shown to be effective in helping people with:
- Relationship Problems
- Coming Out
- Work Stress and Job Loss
- Cheating and Infidelity
- Loss of Interest in Relationships
- Break ups and Divorce
- Adjustments to New circumstances (e.g., geographic move, retirement)
- Medical Illnesses
- Gender Transitions
- Identity Changes
What does it treat?
Our interpersonal, relational therapists in Chicago can adapt the approach to help with various mental health conditions, including depression, dysthymia, bipolar disorder, anxiety, work stress, grief of a loved one, LGBT+ related issues. IPT therapists can also effectively adapt the approach for people with dual diagnoses and across a variety of age groups.
What can I expect?
During the first phase of interpersonal, relational therapy, the Tandem Psychology relational therapist will try to get a broad understanding of what is going on for you. They will explore your current stressors and the people involved in the stressors, what was going on in your life when symptoms first manifested, your strengths, and ways that you cope with difficulty.
In the course of relational therapy, your IPT therapist will help you evaluate your life and relationships to better understand the problems that are arising for you. You will explore feelings and people that are important to your life. With your individual therapist in Chicago, you will explore interpersonal relationships and attachments and your emotional responses to situations and people.
Within relational therapy, you might talk about situations that produce guilt, shame, or resentment. By recognizing your emotional response, you will be empowered to explore your options for resolving interpersonal difficulties and/or building new relationships. It’s likely that your relational therapist will encourage you to develop resources and support outside of individual therapy as well.
IPT is a briefer approach to psychotherapy than many. Its time-limited nature encourages the course of individual therapy to be goal-focused and provides reassurance that one can expect relief from symptoms of depression or other conditions in a relatively short period of time.
Engaging with someone who is truly interested in your well-being can be life changing. Human beings are born with a primary need for relatedness and that relatedness is necessary for survival. Relatedness is the primary organizer of mental life. Through relational therapy you can develop greater self-awareness, empowering you to change the patterns that keep you stuck. Whether you know exactly what is bothering you or just have a general sense that things could be better, we can help.
If you’re looking to engage in relational therapy, schedule an in-person appointment at our Roscoe Village/Southport Corridor/Boystown offices or a telehealth appointment to meet a relational therapist virtually. Learn more about the team of expert clinicians engaging in relational therapy and choose an individual therapist that is right for you.