Amy Banks, M.D. looks back thirty years to a time when a small group of feminist practitioner-scholars developed Relational Cultural Theory (RCT), which posits that people grow through and toward relationships, not through separation and individuation. The theory was considered controversial and was dismissed by practitioners and educators during its early years of scholarship, before becoming accepted and affecting psychological therapy and practice. Most recently neuroscience has reinforced that humans are “hardwired to connect” and RCT has been recognized by a co-editor at the American Psychological Association as "one of the top ten psychological theories today."

Banks is Director of Advanced Training at the Jean Baker Miller Training Institute (JBMTI) at Wellesley Centers for Women. She has devoted her career to understanding the neurobiology of relationships. In addition to her work at JBMTI, she was an instructor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. She is the first person to bring relational-cultural theory together with neuroscience and is the foremost expert in the combined field. Banks is the creator of the C.A.R.E. Program, an easy to use, practical guide that helps clinicians and laypeople assess the quality of their relationships and strengthen their neural pathways for connection. She also has a private practice in Lexington, MA, that specializes in relational psychopharmacology and therapy for people who suffer from chronic disconnection.

Learn more at

© Copyright 2014 Wellesley Centers for Women