Relational-Cultural Theory at
Oasis River Recovery

Oasis River Recovery uses relational-cultural theory to explore how unavailable, unresponsive, cultural, and gender-based past relationships can be stored as mental images that shape our current relationships, create unrealistic expectations, and lead to addictions.

Step One

Reach Out For Help

Step Two

Develop a Custom Treatment Plan

Step Three

Begin Your Recovery Journey

Relational-Cultural Therapy & Addiction Treatment

Initially, relational-cultural therapy (RCT) was developed to accurately depict the mental health of women and reform traditional psychotherapy toward a new psychology of women. Over time, we’ve learned how culture and biological makeup can impact everyone’s mental health and psychological development. A loss or lack of empowerment and healthy relationships can cause individuals to lean on alcohol use and substance abuse to cope with isolation, racism, and marginalization.

relational cultural theory for addiction treatment

What Is Relational-Cultural Therapy?

Developed by Jean Baker Miller, Irene Stiver, Janet Surrey, and Judith Jordan in the late 70s, relational-cultural therapy states if a person can express their genuine emotions and be respected, heard, and understood during adolescence, they can develop confidence, trust, and self-assurance. However, when the person is ignored and treated as insignificant, they will alter their behavior to fit in with the people in power around them.

Examples include parents and children, bosses and employees, and traditional patriarchal relationships between women and cis-gendered men. This can lead to an individual becoming less genuine and detached from others. Over time, the disconnection can become permanent, resulting in depression, low energy, confusion, inability to act, isolation, and self-blame. These symptoms can lead to chronic strain, which can be very taxing on our overall well-being, causing emotional painful and physical pain. These feelings can lead to substance use disorders based on:

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Benefits Of Relational-Cultural Therapy

Relational-cultural theory suggests that for a relationship to be successful, individuals must be able to freely express their feelings, thoughts, and perceptions. As someone is met with understanding and empathy by their therapist, they start to recognize their importance and their potential for recovery by developing the ability to:

Once people begin to make changes in how they disconnect from others, they can take small, measured risks to display their vulnerability in relationships. This openness and vulnerability are necessary for developing healthier relational images, deeper connections with other people, and fostering personal growth.


A Recovery Program Designed to Promote Wellness

Oasis River Recovery strives to provide a unique recovery program unlike anything offered in the area. By incorporating evidence-based treatment, experiential therapy methods, and holistic healing modalities, we've created a program that blends into our location's natural beauty

How Relational Cultural Therapy Relates To Society

In terms of power analyses, relational-cultural therapy suggests that power over others severely restricts the development of mutuality. When people exercise power over others, they want to maintain the status quo and the imbalance of power that gives considerable privilege in a marginalized society.

“Power with” and “power for” modalities provide healthier social arrangements where all people matter, all people contribute to one another, and relationships can grow due to mutual empathy. In multicultural empowerment, we participate and value the growth of marginalized and less powerful people. The goal is mutual benefit, growth fostering relationships, and movement toward connection.

Contact Us Today

If you or someone you know is dealing with a substance use disorder or addiction, reach out to Oasis River Recovery. As we learn about psychological development and past relationships, we can pinpoint how cultures and genders affect our personal lives. Our team of professionals can use relational-cultural therapy to focus on your specific cultural and gender-based needs. Clients in ART therapy don’t need to visualize distressing memories outside the session and quickly find relief. Once the painful memory is healed, you can even feel empowered by the experiences that once overwhelmed you.