Tim Dupell is a mental health advocate for adults, teens, and children. Since the pandemic began in 2020, the world has witnessed a spike in mental health issues — especially anxiety and depression. While the stigma associated with seeking help for emotional and cognitive issues prevents many people from seeking help, he believes certain treatment modalities simply are not effective for all populations.
For these reasons, Tim Dupell advocates for relational therapy or relationship-based models of healing. This therapeutic approach to mental health is based on the idea that reciprocal and respectful relationships with others are necessary for one’s emotional well-being. The treatment style takes into account the ways in which social and familial factors relate to the relationships in an individual’s life.
Relationship-based Therapy Benefits
Mental health concerns increased during the past two years not only because of the pandemic but also indirectly due to families and close associates staying in ‘social isolation bubbles’. Sharing space for an extended period of time can test relationships more than usual.
These types of close relationships exist at home, at school, and in the workplace. Activities and relationships that typically existed outside the home have been removed, and now the home becomes a catch-all for learning, working, playing, and socializing. Downsizing our social groups during the pandemic has created unusual dynamics and stress in family relationships, which many parents aren’t prepared to deal with.
The benefit of relationship-based therapy is that it is based in authenticity. Relational therapists meet people where they are and confront the attachment and interpersonal communication issues from which many of our behaviors and habits stem. Each family member is encouraged to be true to themselves without infringing on the rights and truths that exist for other family members.
Another key benefit Tim Dupell sees in relationship therapy is the emphasis on well-balanced, emotional well-being. This requires trust between family members; enabling anyone going through a phase of depression or anxiety to feel free to express those emotions and receive loving support.
Finally, he believes no therapy can ignore the different cultural and social environments that we all live within. Factors such as economic status, cultural background, and privilege not only impact our quality of life — they alter our perspectives and how we respond to situations. Relational therapy takes into account the many facets of humanity, without taking a one-size-fits-all approach.
While relationship-based therapy is not a cure-all for mental health concerns, our relationships with close family and friends have a powerful effect on our emotions, behaviors, and thoughts. When our relationships are healthy and productive, we are better supported to expand that wellbeing to other areas of our life. Relational therapy takes a holistic approach to mental health care and healing, and understands that we are more than the sum of our parts. As such, relational therapy focuses on the interplay of our personal connections, as well as any struggles that arise.
Consider reaching out to a Family Health and Wellness professional if you or someone you love are in need of help to overcome struggles in mental or behavioral health.