Thursday, April 11, 2013

Feminist therapy

Lifetime Art Impressions, LLC drawing

Click on the below article link to obtain background information to this blog post: provides the following slide show presentation on Feminist therapy techniques:

“Group work
used for consciousness-raising & support, providing an avenue for women to share their experiences of oppression and powerlessness. Creates of sense of empowerment, decrease feelings of isolation, explore messages that may have been internalized about self worth.

includes a shift from "blaming the victim" to a consideration of social factors in the environment that contribute to a client's problem. *rather than dwelling on intrapsychic factors, the focus is on examining societal or political dimensions. ex) susan may come to understand that her depression is linked to social pressures to have the ideal body rather than stemming from some deficiency within.

an intervention that changes the label or evaluation applied to some behavioral characteristic. ex)susan is encouraged to talk about herself as a strong and healthy women then being unattractive/inadequate because she is not thin.

Assertiveness Training
teaching/promoting assertive behavior, women become aware of their interpersonal rights, transcend stereotypical gender roles, change negative beliefs, and implement changes in their daily lives.
*increase own power, affecting the depression, susan learns that it is her right to ask for what she wants and needs.
*Therapist helps susan evaluate & anticipate the consequences of behaving assertively, which might range from criticism to actually getting what she wants.

Power Analysis
refers to the range of methods aimed at helping clients understand how unequal access to power and resources can influence personal realities. Together therapists and clients explore how inequities or institutional barriers often limit self-definition and well-being.
*helps susan identify alternate kinds of power she may exercise and to challenge the gender-role messages that prohibit the exercise of that kind of power.
*interventions are aimed at helping susan learn to appreciate herself as she is, regain her self-confidence based on the personality attributes she possesses, and set goals that will be fulfilling to her and do not depend on whether she "finds a man".

Gender-Role Intervention
therapist responds to susan's concern by placing it in the context of society's role expectations for women.
*aim is to provide susan w/insight into the ways that social issues are affecting her.
Therapist responds with what our society focuses on and what's on the media (being thin) i.e.. many girls are dieting in schools//this gives insight to how these expectations have affected her psychological condition and have contributed to her feeling depressed.
might pave the path for her to think more positively and may also contribute as a role model for young girls.
Gender-Role Analysis
hallmark of F. therapy, explores the impact of expectations on client's psychological well-being & draws upon this info to make decisions about future behaviors.
*intervention serves both the function of assessment & promotion of client change
*begins w/ clients identify the societal messages they received about how women & men should be & act.
-The therapist begins by asking susan to identify messages that she received related to weight/appearance from society,peers, media & family.
-The therapist talks about how body image expectations differ btw female & males in our culture/various other cultures.
*susan decides what messages to keep and others to have open awareness when the discounting messages play in her head.

used to equalize the client-therapist relationship, to provide modeling, to normalize women's collective experiences, to empower clients, & to establish informed consent.
-Therapist use this in the best interests of the client, by considering timing & nature.
-helps to decrease power differentials, useful for supporting clients, & can be liberating/empowering for clients.
*Also involves a certain quality of presence the therapist brings to the therapeutic sessions.

heart of feminist strategies
-Therapist will pay attention to informed consent issues, discussing ways susan can get the most from therapy, clarifying expectations, identifying goals, & working toward a contract that will guide the therapeutic process.
*by explaining how therapy works & enlisting susan as an active partner, the process is demystified and susan becomes an equal participant.
*client will learn that she is charge of direction, length, & procedures in her therapy.”

Perhaps by reading a bit about these feminist therapeutic techniques, you can better serve yourself and your community. What are your thoughts?

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