A dysfunctional relationship is, simply put, a relationship that is not working in a positive or constructive fashion. In a family this can range from a passive, uninvolved, or disinterested relationship with parents or siblings all the way to an abusive or destructive relationship. The same generally applies to relationships with spouses, significant others, co-workers, or anyone you can have a close relationship with. However, a dysfunctional relationship between a professional (doctor, therapist, etc) and a client refers to a relationship that just doesn't "click" and isn't helpful to the client. The efficacy of therapy especially relies largely on compatibility between the professional and the client and if the relationship isn't working it wastes the client's time and can be frustrating to the therapist.