Help to heal
Feminist Therapy places emphasis on gender, and its influence on mental distress. Its practitioners contend that the patriarchal nature of society
and its surrounding pressures can affect a women's sense of identity. Feminist Therapists focus on the negativity of gender roles and attempt to encourage women to realise their potential and overcome barriers.
Feminist Therapy evolved out of the social and political upheaval of the 1960s.
The Civil Rights movement contributed to the notion that women were an oppressed group in US society. Many of the theories of early Feminist thinkers attacked not only the patriarchal make-up of society, but of male-dominated psychological theories
. However, despite its influence on many female therapists, there is currently a lack of resources and training programs to support the approach.
There are a number of approaches to Feminist psychotherapy. These include Integrative, The Stone Center Model and Radical Feminist therapy. The Integrative
school draws upon a collection of theories and is the most popular, attempting to help women identify their sex-role messages, to help them identify themselves away from their mother/wife roles and to learn assertiveness.
How can it help?
Feminist psychotherapy can help women improve self-confidence
and get in touch with their true selves. It has also been used to treat physical and sexual abuse
and confront violent/negative relationships. By focusing on women's empowerment, Feminist counselling is also effective at improving self-esteem and confronting issues like
and body-image concerns.
Feminist psychotherapy resources
Feminist Therapy Institute
The Association For Women In Psychology