Feminist Psychotherapy emerged as an approach to counseling as the waves of feminism gained popularity in mainstream western society. It examines the unique way women relate to the world around them after being seen as inferior to men for many generations. It’s also a response to the once male-dominated field of psychotherapy as a whole.
Feminist therapists aim to treat all genders as equally deserving of respect and dignity and accept. They believe in the historical marginalization of all genders besides males.
Critical to Feminist Psychotherapy is an analysis of power dynamics. Power dynamics are inherent in any relationship, specifically within the counseling relationship. Usually, a counselor is an “expert” with high levels of education and status. The client then is thought to be less than. Feminist Psychotherapy, instead of ignoring this power dynamic or using it to their advantage to tell clients what they ought to do, seeks to highlight it and converse about it. Bringing up how the power dynamics affect the counseling relationship helps people examine the power dynamics in all other areas of their life.
Feminist Psychotherapy can be helpful for a range of mental health concerns, can be utilized for a person of any gender identity, and can be used in group settings, family settings, or individual counseling.
Critical to Feminist Psychotherapy is the idea that people grow through relationships with others. Your therapist might help you analyze your patterns of relating to significant others in your life and might ask you to recall some of your early relationships with parents or other caregivers.
Feminist Psychotherapy does not have a list of techniques necessary for treatment. It focuses on the ideas of empathetically relating to you, from one human being (your counselor) to another (you). A healthy relationship with your counselor becomes a model for all of your relationships.