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Information about Feminist

Published on January 5, 2009

Author: aSGuest9166

Source: authorstream.com

Theory and Practice of Counseling and Psychotherapy : Theory and Practice of Counseling and Psychotherapy MacDonald Feminist Therapy Questions? : Questions? What are the differences in terms of gender-role socialization from this couple? What kinds of messages do you learn in terms of being a woman or being a man? How these gender-role expectations could impact you as a therapist? Key Concepts of Feminist Therapy : Key Concepts of Feminist Therapy Problems are viewed in a sociopolitical and cultural context The client knows what is best for her life and is the expert on her own life Emphasis is on educating clients about the therapy process Traditional ways of assessing psychological health are challenged It is assumed that individual change will best occur through social change Clients are encouraged to take social action Four Approaches to Feminist Therapy : Four Approaches to Feminist Therapy 1. Liberal Feminism Focus Helping individual women overcome the limits and constraints of their socialization patterns Major goals Personal empowerment of individual women Dignity Self-fulfillment Equality Four Approaches to Feminist Therapy : Four Approaches to Feminist Therapy 2. Cultural Feminism Oppression stems from society’s devaluation of women’s strengths Emphasize the differences between women and men Believe the solution to oppression lies in feminization of the culture Society becomes more nurturing, cooperative, and relational Major goal of therapy is the infusion of society with values based on cooperation Four Approaches to Feminist Therapy : Four Approaches to Feminist Therapy 3. Radical Feminism Focus Seek to change society through activism Therapy is viewed as a political enterprise with the goal of transformation of society Major goals Transform gender relationships Transform societal institutions Increase women’s sexual and procreative self-determination. Four Approaches to Feminist Therapy : Four Approaches to Feminist Therapy 4. Socialist Feminism Also have goal of societal change Emphasis on multiple oppressions Believe solutions to society’s problems must include consideration of: Class Race Other forms of discrimination Major goal of therapy is to transform social relationships and institutions View of Human Nature : View of Human Nature Gender-fair Differences between women and men are due to socialization processes Flexible-multicultural Apply equally to both individuals and groups regardless of age, race, culture, gender, class, sexual orientation, and ability. Interactionist Consider contextual and environmental factors Life-span-oriented Human development is a lifelong process and change can occur at any time Principles of Feminist Therapy : Principles of Feminist Therapy The personal is political Personal and social identities are interdependent The counseling relationship is egalitarian Women’s experiences are honored Definitions of distress and “mental illness” are reformulated There is an integrated analysis of oppression Goals of Feminist Therapy : Goals of Feminist Therapy Five goals: 1. Equality, 2. Balancing independence and interdependent, 3. Empowerment, 4. Self-nurturance, and 5.Valuing diversity Two dimensions: personal transformation (e.g., recognize personal power) social changes (e..g, value equality relationship, stress interdependence, define themselves instead of defined by societal demands) Therapist’s function and Role : Therapist’s function and Role Use gender and power analyses to understand clients and their concerns monitor their own biases Understand oppression in all forms Value being emotionally present for their clients, sharing their experiences, and modeling proactive behaviors Use techniques from other approaches Hold beliefs in common with humanistic and person-centered approach Therapeutic relationship is not sufficient Client’s Experience in Therapy : Client’s Experience in Therapy Clients are active participants Initially, clients may look to the therapist for advice Gradually, clients trust more in their own power After feeling understood, they get in touch with their feelings or “prohibited” emotions Therapists share their struggles with gender-role oppression and clients realize that they are not alone Expand support system outside of therapy, engage in social change, and feel empowered. Relationship Between Therapist and Client : Relationship Between Therapist and Client The therapeutic relationship is based on empowerment and egalitarianism The structure of the client-therapist relationship models how to identify and use power responsibly Counselor self-disclosure to reduce the power differential and Honor clients’ experiences Include the client as an active partner in the assessment and treatment process Help clients to recognize how they define themselves and relate to others are influenced by gender-role expectations. Intervention Techniques in Feminist Therapy : Intervention Techniques in Feminist Therapy Gender-role analysis and intervention To help clients understand the impact of gender-role expectations in their lives Provides clients with insight into the ways social issues affect their problems Power analysis and power intervention Emphasis on the power differences between men and women in society Clients helped to recognize different kinds of power they possess and how they and others exercise power Intervention Techniques in Feminist Therapy : Intervention Techniques in Feminist Therapy Bibliotherapy Reading assignments that address issues such as Coping skills • Gender inequality Gender-role stereotypes • Ways sexism is promoted Power differential • Society's obsession between women and men with thinness Self-disclosure To help equalize the therapeutic relationship and provide modeling for the client Values, beliefs about society, and therapeutic interventions discussed Allows the client to make an informed choice Intervention Techniques in Feminist Therapy : Intervention Techniques in Feminist Therapy Assertiveness training Women become aware of their interpersonal rights Transcends stereotypical sex roles Changes negative beliefs Implement changes in their daily lives Reframing Changes the frame of reference for looking at an individual's behavior Shifting from an intrapersonal to an interpersonal definition of a client’s problem Intervention Techniques in Feminist Therapy : Intervention Techniques in Feminist Therapy Relabeling Changes the label or evaluation applied to the client's behavioral characteristics Generally, the focus is shifted from a negative to a positive evaluation From a multicultural perspective : From a multicultural perspective Contributions Have the most in common with multicultural perspectives Direct actions for social change Recognize sexism, racism, and other levels of oppression and privilege Limitations Be cautious when working with clients from culturally different background (e.g., not devaluing the collective cultural values) Summary and Evaluation : Summary and Evaluation Contributions Gender-sensitive practice and an awareness of the impacts of the contextual factors Pay attention on gender-role socialization, power issues in relationship, and external environmental factors. Building community, providing authentic mutual empathic relationships, creating a sense of social awareness, and the emphasis on social change are all strengths of this approach The principles and techniques of feminist therapy can be incorporated in other therapy models. Summary and Evaluation : Summary and Evaluation Limitations Avoid imposing their values on their clients Focus on contextual or environmental factors and move away from exploring the inner factors can be both a strength and a limitation Is a theory?---is a debate question Developed by White, middle-class, heterosexual women---may be biased due to this perspective

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