What is Feminist Therapy?
It acknowledges the interconnections between gender, race, class, sexuality, culture, bodies, age and abilities and how those intersections impact the way we move through the world and how we are treated because of those connections. Feminist therapists know that power, privilege and oppression impact a person’s daily living and recognize that institutional betrayals and systemic oppressions are damaging to the psyche.
Feminist therapy is a holistic approach to psychotherapy, blending psychological, sociological and political theories. It takes into consideration a woman’s experience or a woman-identified person’s experience in our current cultural context. Psychology and psychological theory has historically been credited, researched and developed by men, which, frankly, does not always work for everyone. Feminist therapists understand that personal is political and that society creates and maintains many of the issues that are brought into therapy—issues around self-worth, self-esteem, disordered eating, sexual assault and harassment, which often translate into PTSD, anxiety, and depression.
What does it mean to work with a therapist who is a feminist therapist?
It means we work together in an egalitarian and collaborative way. I honor and welcome diverse perspectives, and I employ strength-based treatment to build and nurture resiliency. While it is true that women, people of color, and the LGBTIAQQ community are at risk for depression and anxiety, it is my hope to help nurture my clients so they can find peace and learn skills to heal and flourish.
Do you identify with any of the following questions?
Has the heaviness of ignorance and intolerance been weighing on you?
Are you afraid to start a new relationship as a result of the oppressive patriarchal attitudes that your past partners have internalized?
Are you uncomfortable in social settings because of your intersectional identity, which manifests as social anxiety?
Are you depressed because the world doesn’t seem to value you and your unique self?
Are you uncomfortable because you simply don’t fit neatly within society’s heteronormative constructs?
There certainly has been a burgeoning cultural shift that recognizes and validates identity differences and the harm that stems from patriarchal norms; however, I continue to witness mistreatment and dehumanization of people in my care who are considered to be outside the cultural norm.
Many people suffer from PTSD due to this mistreatment. Witnessing and experiencing institutional betrayal can cause such trauma. After surviving harassment and experiencing exclusion based in systems of power, privilege, and oppression, we can process that grief and trauma and move to wellness.
While feminist therapy guides my practice, I collaborate with each client on what they are seeking from therapy—tailoring each session to fit your unique needs and background. My collaborative, attachment-focused sessions help create an open, safe, and non-judgmental space to promote healing.