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Feminist therapy

Feminist Therapy

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Feminist therapy

  1. 1. Feminist Therapy
  2. 2. What is Feminist Therapy? ➢ It challenges the male-oriented assumptions regarding what constitutes a mentally healthy individual. ➢ It emphasizes a diverse approach that includes an understanding of multiple oppressions, power, privilege, multicultural competence, social justice, and the oppression of the marginalized people. ➢ It provides a systematic perspective in understanding the social context of clients’ lives and are directed toward affecting social and individual change. ➢ It views therapy as a partnership between equals and built mutuality and collaboration in the therapeutic process.
  3. 3. Key Concepts ❏ Gender-Fair approaches explains the differences in behavior between men and women due to socialization ❏ Flexible-Multicultural Perspective uses concepts and strategies that apply equally to individuals and groups regardless of age, race, culture, gender, ability, class, or sexual orientation ❏ Interactionist view contains specific concepts specific to the thinking, feeling, and behaving dimensions of human experience and accounts for contextual and environmental factors ❏ Life-span Perspective assumes that development is a lifelong process and that personality and behavioral changes can occur at any time
  4. 4. Principles of Feminist Therapy ➢ The personal is political and critical consciousness ○ We bring in to counseling our problems that originates in political and social contexts ➢ Commitment to social change ○ Direct action for social change ➢ Voices of those who experienced marginalization and oppression are valued and their experiences are honored ○ Replaces the patriarchal and other forms of objective truth with feminist and social justice consciousness and use personal experience as a touchstone for determining what is reality
  5. 5. Principles of Feminist Therapy ➢ The counseling relationship is egalitarian ○ Authenticity, mutuality, and respect ➢ Focus on strength and reformulating psychological distress ○ Psychological distress is a matter of unjust systems ○ Our problems are in the context of living and coping ➢ All types of repression are recognized along with its connections ○ We can be understood through our sociocultural environment ○ Social and political inequities have negative effects on people
  6. 6. Therapeutic Goals ❏ To assist individuals in viewing themselves as active agents on their own behalf and on behalf of others ❏ Help individuals to come together and strengthen their collective power ❏ Strives for the transformation of the client and the society
  7. 7. Therapist’s Function and Role ❏ Integrate feminism, multiculturalism, and other social justice perspectives ❏ Commitment in understanding the different forms of oppression ❏ Being present to the client and willingness to share about themselves ❏ Striving for mutual empathy ❏ Therapists must also be aware of themselves!
  8. 8. Client’s Experience in Therapy ❏ They are considered as partners and should be able to tell their stories and give voice to their experience ❏ They should determine what they want from therapy ❏ Be able to acquire a new way on how to respond to their world
  9. 9. Relationship Between Therapist and Client ❏ Therapist states their values when asking for the client’s consent to avoid value imposition ❏ Therapists must be able to demystify the counseling relationship by sharing their perceptions about what is going on in the working relationship ❏ The client is the expert on his or her life and the therapist must use appropriate self-disclosure
  10. 10. Techniques: ❏ Empowering the client ❏ Clarify expectations ❏ Identify goals ❏ Work toward a contract that will guide therapeutic process ❏ Self-Disclosure ❏ To equalize the client-therapist relationship ❏ Should be provided when it is judged as therapeutically helpful ❏ Gender-Role or Social Identity Analysis ❏ To assess the relevant aspects of client’s identity, which includes membership in disempowered and privileged groups ❏ Gender-Role Intervention ❏ Emphasis on society’s role expectations.
  11. 11. Techniques: ❏ Social Action ❏ Help understand how unequal access to power and resources can influence personal reality ❏ Bibliotherapy ❏ Providing a number of books for the client to read in the upcoming weeks. ❏ Assertiveness Training ❏ Become aware of interpersonal rights, transcend from stereotypes, change negative beliefs, and implement changes in life ❏ Reframing ❏ Shift from placing the problem internally and consider the social factors ❏ Relabeling ❏ Changing the label/evaluation applied to behavioral characteristic
  12. 12. Techniques: ❏ Social Action ❏ Encourage clients on becoming volunteers for social change ❏ Group Work ❏ Joining a group (political or action) as soon as it is realistic
  13. 13. The Role of Men... ❏ Men can be feminist therapists and feminist therapy can be practice onto men as well ❏ Male therapists understands their own male privilege confront sexist behavior and attitudes, redefine conception of gender roles, establish egalitarian relationships, and engage in efforts for a just society.
  14. 14. Strengths & Limitations ❏ Increasing awareness on attitudes and biases ❏ Consideration of the contexts as opposed to merely focusing on the symptoms and behaviors ❏ Active community involvement ❏ Absence of neutrality ❏ Developed by White, middle-class, heterosexual women, which may deem it as biased