Feminist therapists have assisted other counselors in answering questions pertaining to basic assumptions of the profession in regards to woman. Feminist therapists hold the belief that “the person is political.” Along with this belief, feminist therapy has contributed greatly to the counseling and the psychotherapy professions.
THE PERSON IS POLITICAL
Gerald Corey in THOERY AND PRACTICE OF COUNSELING AND PSYCHOTHERAPY poignantly emphasizes: “The person is political,” is rooted in the fundamental goal of feminist practices, which is social transformation: to change the status quo and to improve the well-being and status of all women.
Because clients’ individual problems have societal and political roots, Corey clarifies, feminist therapy aims for individual change and for social change. Feminists view their therapy practice as existing to assist individual clients in their struggles.
Feminist therapy also views their counseling as a strategy for advancing a transformation in society because direct action for social change is imperative within the therapeutic setting.
Corey stresses: the goal of feminist therapy is to advance a differing vision of societal organizations to free gender-role expectations.
To comprehend the contributions of feminist therapy, it’s best to understand how feminist therapy originated.
Feminist therapy originated during the 1960s during the woman’s movement.
During this period, women united in vocalizing their dissatisfaction over the restrictiveness of traditional female roles.
Traditional therapeutic approaches are helpful. However, Corey reminds: feminist therapy is distinct in its ability to address the role of gender in psychological distress. Feminist therapy is also distinctive in its capability of addressing gender roles because gender is a reality shaping our behavior and our world is organized through these influences.
Feminist therapy recognizes environmental pressures affecting a woman’s identity. Mary Guindon in “Feminist Therapy: What’s it all about?” (2007) from SELFHELP magazine calls attention to the fact that women live in a world dominated by males and masculine patterns of thought and behavior referred to as the patriarchy.
Accordingly, the contributions of feminist therapy grew out of this recognition. Corey gives emphasis to all qualities the feminist therapy grew to include. These qualities embrace: paving the way for gender-sensitive practice; the commitments to applying gender-fair principles in therapy endeavors; and the sensitivity to the gendered uses of power in therapeutic relationships.
The feminist therapy also grew to include helping families reorganize structures so that neither the woman nor that man remains stuck in destructive patterns. Feminist therapy has also made important contributions in questioning traditional counseling theories.
Corey continues, removing “blinders” so that everyone can see certain realities more clearly, and demanding action in cases of sexual misconduct, feminist therapy has continued to become greatly recognized.
Because feminist therapists are committed to actively breaking down the hierarchy of power within therapeutic relationships through various interventions and numerous suggestions, varied strategies have become unique within feminist therapy.
As a result, feminist therapy has suggested: counseling theory ought to be gender-free, flexible, interactioninst, and life-span oriented.
Feminist therapists have assisted other therapists in answering questions pertaining to basic assumptions of the profession in regards to woman. Feminist therapists hold the belief that “the person is political” because women, come into counseling with a sense of powerlessness, a fear of trust in themselves, and a lack of identity.
Feminist therapy has contributed greatly to the counseling and the psychotherapy professions by providing traditional therapies encouraging women to be independent and self-sufficient.