Feminist View of Human Nature
Feminist therapy assists in discovering the hidden effects of gender, power, and bias particularly on interpersonal relationships (Corey, 2007). Feminist theory is no different from other postmodern theories as it looks at how knowledge interpreted and owned in a specific culture. The approach has enhanced the levels of awareness of how external factors like culture and events happening around the world affect individual life and functioning. The approach also aids expand understanding of the ways in which prejudice and therapist’s values can affect the counseling experience (Ferguson, 2007).
According to feminist theory, challenges that occur between couples can successfully be addressed if the inequalities between men and women are acknowledges and dealt with. Feminist therapy has two basic assumptions: first, it considers all traditional gender roles as constraints to both men and women progression; second, the therapist is more effective if it is client focused. The therapy considers the client an expert in his or her own experiences and shields against hierarchical thinking or misuse of authority (Shedler, 2008).
Feminist Therapeutic Process
Shedler (2008) determines that, the success of therapy in feminist approach solely depends on the relationship between a feminist therapist and client. Feminist approach may also be applied by either male of female therapists, despite its primary objective being to encourage social growth and stabilizing self awareness among women. Sexual orientation is irrelevant in the application of this approach, in comparison with his or her intention feminist a gender throughout the therapy (Shedler, 2008). Egalitarian part of feminist therapy comes from the association of a therapist and client (Corey, 2008). The intention of feminist theory is to stress the strengths and abilities of the client, rather than incapability’s. Lastly, the approach encourages social advocacy initiatives and the purpose of well-being among female clients and issues surrounding them (Shedler, 2008).
Applications of Feminist Therapy
Major Techniques and areas mostly applicable
Feminist approach utilizes a number of useful techniques in the therapeutic sessions. These techniques and methods include: adoption of relevant techniques from other approaches of therapy; emphasis on self-disclosure and empowerment advocacy; role playing and assertive training techniques; techniques involving analysis and intervention of roles gender; and social advocacy (Shedler, 2008). Feminist therapy is applicable to: people of both gender, that is, both men and women. According to Shedler (2008), the issue of sexual bias is irrelevant to this approach despite it being feminist; two, the approach is mostly applicable to both individual and group counseling; counseling family and couples; and in enhancement of community interventions (Ferguson, 2007).
Evaluation of feminist Approach
Limitations and Contributions
The basis of feminist approach is to create multicultural awareness and understanding of diverse experiences of women. In essence, feminist approach has caused a number of contributions, such as: integrating its concepts with other theories; enhancing positive and egalitarian thinking about men and women; advocating against systems that tend to be patriarchal; stresses more on women life contexts, rather than their symptoms and behavior; contributions in terms of sensitizing counselors to gendered application of power in relationships; played a significant role in offering shelter victims of gender violence, centers for sexual molestation victims, and contributed a lot in female reproductive health centers; and promoted high levels of social awareness and change (Shedler, 2008).
Feminist approach has notable disadvantages or limitations compared to other theories of therapy. Some of these limitations include: the possibility of feminist counselors imposing values on clients. It is an approach that is widely drawn of protest against cultural levels of marginalization; the approach does not have a solid stance since it merely campaigns for social structural changes; the approach does not involve clients in decision making; and other limitations (Shedler, 2008).