Relational psychotherapy is not so much a particular school of psychotherapy as it is a broad way of understanding human motivation and the process of therapy. Therapists who take a relational approach understand that person-to-person relating is one of the most central motivations that people have, hence it can also be what brings many individuals to therapy.
Therapists from all different modalities can be described to have a relational approach if they prioritise their clients' ways of relating to others as central to understanding themselves. While understanding the way previous relationships inform current relationships is important, relational therapists also maintain that the therapeutic relationship creates a space where such relational dynamics are provoked and can be worked through, understood and improved. Relational therapists may draw on dynamics that are occurring in the here and now within the therapeutic relationship in order to shed greater light on understanding the client's relational dynamics and hence enable them to understand themselves more. The way a therapist behaves in therapy with regard to their relational position will largely depend on their own personality and training, privileging the client's way in which they relate, however, is likely to be common among most individuals working relationally.