Relational Repair

 

Written by Ian Jayne in the July 2018 Issue

Relational Repair

Relational Repair

At Relational Care Oklahoma, Bruce and Joyce Walker work together to provide a biblically based, clinically sound environment for couples’ therapy. 

For Dr. Bruce Walker, PhD, LMFT, LPC, his professional career is all about “helping people love well.” Walker and his wife Joyce, both Oklahoma natives, recently returned to the state after several decades in Texas to found Relational Care Oklahoma, 3324 French Park Dr., Ste. B., Edmond. “We just had to get back to Oklahoma,” Bruce said.

Before pursuing graduate studies at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, Bruce had a corporate life working for IBM in Wichita, KS and Conoco in Ponca City, OK. Walker completed his graduate and doctoral degrees and worked as a Christian counselor.

In 1997, the Walkers moved to Austin, where they worked with a non-denominational para-church ministry to develop relationship-focused resources and training for churches, Walker said. This work eventually birthed the Center for Relational Care, where Bruce was executive director, and Joyce was executive administrator.

Walker describes his practice as “biblically based and clinically sound,” combining his experiences with his Christian faith with non-religious clinical models, such as Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT), a widely-used, evidence-based practice to help couples communicate on a deeper level.

The style of therapy Walker practices is based on attachment theory. “The real focus is on the dynamics of the relationship,” Walker said, “but those come from the individual personality of each person.” Personality, temperament, genetics and life experiences all influence the phenomenon of selfhood, according to Walker.

“Relational therapy, even if you’re seeing a person individually, focuses significantly on the relational culture or environment in which you grew up. That’s what has molded and shaped you,” Walker said. “If I’m working with a couple… the bottom line is, does the manner in which they communicate and relate to each other, change for the better?"

In order to help individuals and couples heal from the past and free themselves to experience the present, Walker said his practice helps people have “corrective emotional experiences.” The principle of emotional attunement – essentially, meeting clients where they are emotionally – helps to create an environment conducive to therapeutic healing. Walker also strives to facilitate an open, non-judgmental attitude.

Visit relationalcareok.com for more information or to schedule an appointment.

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