Feminist therapy was developed in response to the many challenges women have faced throughout history. The understanding that women may experience mental health issues as a result of psychological oppression is a core concept of feminist therapy.
In therapy, women and other groups that have been marginalized might address the limitations experienced due to the sociopolitical status often imposed upon them and, with the help of a mental health professional, explore solutions to treat mental health needs and work toward social change.
How Does Feminist Therapy Work?
Feminist therapy attempts to make the marginalized viewpoint central, and modern-day feminist therapy and theory often addresses the concerns of people of color; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and gender-variant individuals; people with special needs; immigrants; refugees; and more. Those who have experienced oppression may be able to find a treatment that can inspire social transformation in addition to addressing mental health concerns.
Many women have experienced systematic oppression and discrimination for centuries. With this discrimination often comes numerous gender-specific obstacles and stressors, such as victimization and violence, unrealistic depiction in the media, limited economic resources or opportunities, and work inequities. Other disenfranchised groups, including people of color and the LGBT community, often experience similar challenges.
Feminist therapists typically operate from the assumption that women and other oppressed groups are at risk for mental health issues due to the psychological distress caused by these obstacles. Therapy focuses on supporting those in treatment as they work to overcome limitations and restrictions. Gender roles, socialization, identitydevelopment, and self-concept are all explored during therapy in order to promote empowerment.