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Transcript of Relational-Cultural Theory
Overview of RCT
Developed by Jean Baker Miller in 1976
Complements multicultural and social justice movement
Context and sociocultural challenges can negatively impact our ability to form and sustain growth-fostering relationships
Healing takes place when people have growth-fostering and empathic relationships
Rooted in the concepts of connections and disconnections
The Central Relational Paradox
Humans strive for connection, but guard themselves against real or perceived hurt or rejection, only serving to further isolate them and keep them from forming genuine, authentic connections.
The Role of the Counselor Using RCT
Work to help client improve self-empathy by promoting the development of compassion within themselves
Be authentic and genuine
Help client think about themselves within a broader context in order to move them away from feelings of failure and isolation
Move clients toward feelings of genuine connection with others
Believe that being neutral and disengaged can be harmful to the client during session
Avoid being detached and non-responsive
understanding the client
being aware of the impact of word choice on the client
pay close attention to the therapeutic technique(s) that will be most beneficial to the client based upon knowledge of the client
The RCT Counseling Process
Based on a change in attitude and understanding rather than using a set of specific techniques
During the assessment phase, you should evaluate client for:
strengths and coping skills
signs of self-empathy
signs of their ability to recover quickly from setbacks within relationships
available support systems
whether or not they feel a sense of belonging
a decrease in self-esteem because of society
whether or not they have experienced discrimination
whether or not they ave experienced personal or societal trauma
Through the process, the clients:
learn to recognize their ability to choose how they react to the disconnections in their life
work with the counselor on how they can attain personal growth and connection
Cultural Considerations of RCT
Evidence Supporting RCT
Celebrating the Power of Connection
Counselor should express their understanding of the client's personal experiences, as well as their worldview
Counselor should consider the context of the client's:
current relational dynamics
"Five Good Things"
1. Each person feels a greater sense of zest (vitality, energy)
2. Each person feels more able to act and does act in the world
3. Each person has a more accurate picture of him/herself and the other person (s)
4. Each person feels a greater sense of worth
5. Each person feels more connected to other persons and exhibits a greater motivation to connect with other people beyond those in one's primary relationships
RCT can be useful in cases of self-injurious behavior (SIB) when used with other mainstream approaches.
Disconnection from own body, from others.
Focus on self-empathy
Can be useful when combined with CBT-E, IPT
Need for control, disconnection, shame and isolation
Mutuality - role of eating disorder within context of a relationship
Prevention through connection, self-empathy
Group Work with Adolescent Females
Emphasizes honest desire for connection, understanding patterns of connection and disconnection
The Central Relational Paradox