Relational-Cultural Therapy (RCT) views connection as paramount to the human experience and existence; that to flourish and grow, human beings require a relationship with the other. RCT takes a look at human relationships and the influence of culture on these connections. It aims to reduce the suffering of isolation through deepening of both the therapeutic relationship and other social connections external to the psychotherapy space.
The approach emphasizes relationships that offer growth, mutuality, and empathy. It examines the ways in which expectations within current relationships are shaped by chronic disconnections in early life. RCT works to reduce these negative relational templates and experiences through the fostering of more responsive and connected relationships.
On a cultural level, RCT brings to focus the influence of larger cultural and power differentials, and seeks to move towards greater empowerment for marginalized populations. Addressing racism, classism, xenophobia, and other social injustices is an important goal of RCT based in recognition of the widespread impacts these experiences have on human ability to experience vitality and meaningful social connection.