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Educ 323 Ch12.docx

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EDUC 323
Alex Abdel- Malek

Educ 323 Ch12: Feminist Therapy • Background: o “traditionally psychotherapy has let women down, same for disempowered groups”  Created by mainstream for mainstream o More philosophical approach than specific theory and technique o Ideological continuum (above quote extreme) o FT developed out of deep dissatisafaction w/traditional approaches to psychotherapy, emergence of psychology of women and gender and the feminist movements of the 60s and 70s  Approach leads both therapist and client toward strategies and solutions advancing feminist resistance, transformation, and social change in daily personal life and in rlnsps w/the social, emotional and political environment o No one indiv developed FT, rather it emerged from application of feminist political philosophy  Considered grassroots phenomenon and proponents generally eschew idea of “experts”  Started w/Adler who recognized cultureal effects on women’s behaviour (tho still saw women as needing to adjust to role of mother)  Karen Horney, psychoanalyst, rejected idea of penis envy and susbstitudes women’s envy of men’s priveliged/power wileding position in society • Core tenets: o Being female always occurs in cultural, social, political, economic and histoiral context and affects dev across lifespan o FT focuses on cultural/social/etc.. factors in women’s lives as well as intrapsychic factors across life span o FT includes power analysis and lrnshp to multiple ways women are oppressed o Acknowledges that violence against women, overt and covert, is emotionally, physically and spiritually damaging o Acknowledges that misogyny exists and is damaging o Focus on strengths not deficits so F behaviours seen as understandable efforts to adapt to oppression o Committed to social change toward equality o Monitoring of power blance b/w client therapist and ptl power abuse o Strive toward egalitarian rlnshp based on mutual respect o Collaborative o Help girls and women understand how they have incorporated societal beliefs and values, challenge destructive constructs together o Empower girls and women to recognize/claim power o Expand alternatives/choices o Demystification of process that validates and affirs the shared and diverse experiences of women o Involve appropriate types of self disclosure o Therapists to continually self monitor • Basic philosophy: o Collection of political philosophies that aims to overthrow patriarchy and end inequities based on gender thru cultural transformation and radical social change  Patriarchy- pervasive social norms of most cultures that favour men and give them power while devaluing women and keepin them in subordinate positions  Ultimate cause of phsychological dysfunction resides in oppression of indiv by society • Women, esp, are expected to adhre to rigid set of expectations, deviation and overadherence seen as mental illness  “loud”  Feminists always aware of power differentials and attentive to features of human interaction taht promote such differentials (ie how we speak assumed to reflect and influence our views of the world) • Call men by last names, women and children by first  Feminist stances differ primarily in degree to which they emphasize unique qualities of women, advocate the rejection of masculine/patriarchal models and integrate issues of culture and class into viewpoints  Liberal feminists emphasize women’s equality w/in rational framework • Aka Reformist feminists advocates of this perspective emphasize the equality of women and men and tend to focus on changing legal structures and interventiosn to promote access for women • Liberal position criticised b/c encourages women to become members of male club and deny paternalism in societyal structures o Don’t want to teach women to be “more like men”  Radical and Social change (socialist) feminists those who see oppression based on gender as most fundamental and stubborn form of injustice and seek to eliminate all forms of male domination • Add that capitalism a second major factor in oppression of women and would prefer communal living environments that would emphasize equality of work roles for men and women • Point to many ways that society represses women (including violence and harassment and restricting reproductive rights) • See liberal feminists’ efforts to promote women into positions of power in society as tokenism b/c this is more likely to change that woman to fit male norms than to change the patriarchal capitalist system • Nothing less than abolishing patriarchal systems is acceptable to radical ans socialist feminists o Likelt to advocate separatism, refusal to participate in institutions that perpetuate patriarchy  Cultural feminists revere women’s unique qualities such as relatedness, cooperation • Emphasize difs b/w me nand women in such values, celebrate what they would see as qualities unique to women (unlike radical and social feminists who are critical of norms of femininity)  Woman of color feminism/Womanism= rxn to mainstream feminism’s neglect of experiences of women of color (racism inherent in early feminism) • Reject primacy of gender as category of oppression, saying gender interacts w/race, SES and other categories affecting indiv’s lives • Sometimes equated w/Black feminism tho that more broad (refers to one who loves all thigns woman) • Colonization/Oppression to describe that ppl of color are pressured to adopt values/norms of white, Eurocentric culture  Postmodern feminism: reject idea that there is one real, objective truth • Say reality is constrcted in rlnshps and that truth is often determined by who is in power • Some versions of lesbian/queer feminism • Mild to radical on notion of whether there’s a reality to be comprehended • Radical relativism (there is no one reality only shifting views) sometimes seen as probblemativ b/c disallows statements about historical/present oppression of women and other marginalized indivs • Human motivation: FT dn’t discuss this much, too busy intervening o Might draw views from existing theory of human behaviour as long as it’s not sexist o Of adopt system associated w/humanistic orientation b/c and actualization persp is compatible w/feminist orientation o Person centered theory faulted for lack of attn to social factors that contrib. To self dev  Also emphasis placed on individualism in humanistic/existential approaches is reflective of traditional American values and can obscure commonalities in women’s experiences in the oppressive culture • Central constructs: o Gender: gender considered social manifestation of sex (no matter what FT ideology)  Emphasizes that difs b/w men and women are more product of biology and taht social learning and social context are important influences on what our culture defines as M or F  Liberal feminists adamant that gender a construction of culture and that most apparent psychological difs b/w M and F are b/c of societal influence not biological sex
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