Feminist Therapy On Women 's Rights Movement Essay

Feminist Therapy On Women 's Rights Movement Essay

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As noted in the textbook, feminist therapy began as a result of the women 's rights movement in the early 1970 's. Up to that point, women were seen as inferior and societal views of women 's roles and their emotional temperament permeated the therapists ' views and influenced the direction of the therapy. Most therapists were male and most patients were white, middle-aged women. The standard of what was seen as healthy was developed by men and based on masculine traits. Feminist therapists were aware of misogynistic influences and sought to eliminate these with a set of guiding principles. This paper will highlight the elements of feminist therapy and compare them with other therapies and then, will identify the difference between gender-sensitive therapy and feminist therapy.
Feminist therapy principle 1: Personal and social identities are interdependent
As individuals we have many roles in society. For example, one person could be a mother, sister, employee, citizen, aunt, business owner and friend. In each society there are acceptable norms for each one of these roles and, specific cultures within that society have further restrictions. An Asian-American woman and an African-American woman are met with different stereotypes in society and different expectations in the home. These ideas combined create individual goals and individual conflicts dependent on who the person really is.
Feminist therapists’ help women identify their roles, explore how their roles manifest in their behavior and understand the conflict between what’s been taught as appropriate and what’s truly appropriate for them. The relationship between the self and the society cannot be separated.
Feminist therapy principle 2: The personal is politic...


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...s (i.e. emotional, cognitive and/or medical) gives the therapist and the client an advantage over therapies that have narrow views and approaches. A male client who has a chemical basis for attention difficulties and aggression who goes to a therapist that specializes in Rational Emotive Therapy may never gain relief from their inability to focus and, may never understand that their aggression may be a result of funneling their discomfort into a traditional male behavior. An African-American female who attends therapy with a Humanistic Therapist may gain an empathetic ear related to the difficulties of being a person of color but may never gain an understanding of their issues in context of their gender roles. It makes sense that a therapy that encompasses as many aspects of the human experience as possible will yield better outcomes for the individual and society.

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