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Theory and practice of counseling and psychotherapy 10th corey chapter 12

Theory and Practice of Counseling and
Psychotherapy
TENTH EDITION

Gerald Corey

Cengage Learning

Copyright © 2017 Cengage Learning


Chapter 12
Feminist Therapy

Copyright © 2017 Cengage Learning


History and Development


No single individual can be identified as the founder of this approach, reflecting a central theme

of feminist collaboration



The beginnings of feminism (the first wave) can be traced to the late 1800s



The women’s movement of the 1960s (the second wave) laid the foundation for the development
of feminist therapy

Theory and Practice of Counseling and Psychotherapy - Chapter 12 (1)


Key Concepts (slide 1 of 2)


Problems are viewed in a sociopolitical and cultural context



The psychological oppression that women and minorities have experienced is acknowledged



A feminist perspective considers the roles that women and men with diverse social identities and
experiences have been socialized to accept

Theory and Practice of Counseling and Psychotherapy - Chapter 12 (2)


Key Concepts (slide 2 of 2)


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

Theory and Practice of Counseling and Psychotherapy - Chapter 12 (3)


Personality Development


Societal gender-role expectations profoundly influence a person’s identity from (or even before)
birth



Gilligan (1977) recognized that development of women was judged by male norms



Females are raised in a culture grounded in sexism, and understanding internalized oppression is
central to this approach

Theory and Practice of Counseling and Psychotherapy - Chapter 12 (4)


Relational-Cultural Theory


RCT emphasizes the vital role that relationships and connectedness with others play in the lives of
women



Therapists adopting this approach aim to:






Lessen the suffering caused by disconnection and isolation
Increase clients’ capacity for relational resilience
Develop mutual empathy and mutual empowerment
Foster social justice

Theory and Practice of Counseling and Psychotherapy - Chapter 12 (5)


Principles of Feminist Therapy
(slide 1 of 2)


The personal is political and critical consciousness are central concepts



Those who practice FT are committed to social change



Women’s and girls’ voices and ways of knowing, and the voices of others who have been
oppressed, are valued



The counseling relationship is egalitarian

Theory and Practice of Counseling and Psychotherapy - Chapter 12 (6)


Principles of Feminist Therapy
(slide 2 of 2)


FT focuses on strengths and offers a reformulated definition of psychological distress



All types of oppression are recognized along with the connections among them

Theory and Practice of Counseling and Psychotherapy - Chapter 12 (7)


Goals of Feminist Therapy
(slide 1 of 3)


Feminist therapists help clients:



Become aware of their own gender-role socialization



Identify their internalized messages of oppression and replace them with more selfenhancing beliefs



Understand how sexist and oppressive societal beliefs and practices influence them in
negative ways

Theory and Practice of Counseling and Psychotherapy - Chapter 12 (8)


Goals of Feminist Therapy
(slide 2 of 3)


Acquire skills to bring about change in the environment



Develop a wide range of behaviors that are freely chosen



Restructure institutions to rid them of discriminatory practices



Evaluate the impact of social factors on their lives

Theory and Practice of Counseling and Psychotherapy - Chapter 12 (9)


Goals of Feminist Therapy
(slide 3 of 3)


Develop a sense of personal and social power



Recognize the power of relationships and connectedness



Trust their own experience and their intuition

Theory and Practice of Counseling and Psychotherapy - Chapter 12 (10)


Role of Assessment and Diagnosis


Diagnoses are based on the dominant culture’s view of normalcy and cannot account for cultural
differences



Feminist therapists have been sharply critical of the DSM classification system, including the
current DSM-5 edition



Critique is based on research indicating that gender, culture, and race may influence assessment
of clients’ symptoms

Theory and Practice of Counseling and Psychotherapy - Chapter 12 (11)


Techniques and Strategies


Empowerment



Self-Disclosure



Gender-Role or Social Identity Analysis



Gender-Role Intervention



Power Analysis

Theory and Practice of Counseling and Psychotherapy - Chapter 12 (12)


Techniques and Strategies


Bibliotherapy



Assertiveness Training



Reframing and Relabeling



Social Action



Group Work

Theory and Practice of Counseling and Psychotherapy - Chapter 12 (13)


Role of Men in FT


Male feminist therapists are willing to:



Understand and “own” their male privilege



Confront sexist behavior in themselves and others



Redefine masculinity and femininity and work toward establishing egalitarian relationships



Engage in and support women’s efforts to create a just society

Theory and Practice of Counseling and Psychotherapy - Chapter 12 (14)


Application to Group Work


Group provides an outlet for social support and political action



Forms a diverse community where members share the goal of supporting womens’ experiences



Group setting decreases feelings of isolation and loneliness

Theory and Practice of Counseling and Psychotherapy - Chapter 12 (15)


Application to Group Work


Self-disclosure is emphasized for both the leader and members as a means of self-exploration



Provides a setting where clients learn to use power appropriately by providing support for each
other and taking social/political actions

Theory and Practice of Counseling and Psychotherapy - Chapter 12 (16)


Strengths From a Diversity Perspective


FT has the most in common with the multicultural and social justice perspectives



Clinicians strive to create an egalitarian relationship and collaborate with clients in setting goals
and choosing strategies



Feminist therapists believe psychotherapy is inextricably bound to culture

Theory and Practice of Counseling and Psychotherapy - Chapter 12 (17)


Limitations From a Diversity Perspective


Advocating for change in the social structure can be problematic when working with women who
do not share these beliefs



If therapists do not fully understand and respect the cultural values of clients from diverse
groups, they run the risk of imposing their own values

Theory and Practice of Counseling and Psychotherapy - Chapter 12 (18)


Contributions of
Feminist Therapy (slide 1 of 2)


Has paved the way for gender-sensitive practice and an awareness of the impact of the cultural
context and multiple oppressions



Has emphasis on social change, which can lead to a transformation in society



Has made significant theoretical and professional advances in counseling practice

Theory and Practice of Counseling and Psychotherapy - Chapter 12 (19)


Contributions of
Feminist Therapy (slide 2 of 2)


Called attention to child abuse, incest, rape, sexual harassment, and domestic violence



Demanded action in cases of sexual misconduct at a time when male therapists misused the
trust placed in them by their female clients



Can incorporate principles and techniques of FT into many therapy models

Theory and Practice of Counseling and Psychotherapy - Chapter 12 (20)


Limitations of
Feminist Therapy (slide 1 of 2)


Therapists do not take a value neutral stance



Therapists must be careful not to impose their cultural values on a client



Therapists may alienate clients if they challenge societal values that subordinate certain groups
without first gaining a clear understanding of the clients’ culture

Theory and Practice of Counseling and Psychotherapy - Chapter 12 (21)


Limitations of
Feminist Therapy (slide 2 of 2)


The heavy environmental/sociopolitical focus may detract from exploring a client’s intrapsychic
experiences



More empirical support is needed for this approach



Training in FT is often offered only sporadically in a non-systematic way, and there is a lack of
quality control

Theory and Practice of Counseling and Psychotherapy - Chapter 12 (22)



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