In a world where the male sex dominates, feminist therapy realizes that a woman is affected by social pressures which reveal themselves through her identity. This unique form of therapy focuses on females in psychological distress. Feminist therapy emerged from the Feminist Movement of the 1960s. Feminist therapy is based on the belief that men and women are innately different and that psychological methodologies that were created by and for men may not be beneficial to women. Circumstances that are specific to women need specifically tailored treatment methods in order to find resolution. Women view their worlds in a different manner than men and often struggle with issues that are not relative to the male psychological construct. Therefore, feminist therapy is designed not only to recognize those issues independently, but to address them from a point of healing that can be achieved by women uniquely.
Feminist therapy examines the role of the relationship in a woman’s life and takes into consideration all the aspects of sexual bias in our male dominated society. It values each woman and her relative experiences as authentic and special. Oftentimes, this therapy works to explore the educational and professional disparities between men and women. It allows women to be liberated from personal barriers and to develop the skills to attain their goals. Specifically, this specialized therapy assists women with issues regarding relationships, career, reproductive concerns, body image, and any history of physical or sexual abuse. A goal of feminist therapy is to empower women to a higher level of functioning in today’s society.
Feminist Therapist Framework
A feminist therapist understands that many women perceive their environment through relationships and a sense of connectedness to those around them, whereas many men see things in the context of competition and power. Interpersonal and intrapersonal relationships are at the core of many psychological challenges for women. A feminist therapist works with a client to help her recognize the dysfunctions within these relationships and helps her to develop tactics to overcome the past experiences and manage any subsequent conflicting relationship issues.
Resources Related to Feminist Therapy
AHPWeb - A brief overview of Feminist Therapy and a recommended book list