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Feminist Family Therapy: Will It Work For You And Your Family?

It might elicit mixed responses when thinking of the link between family therapy and feminist theory. What many fail to notice is how social context is a vital aspect of family therapy, especially if seen from the point of determining behavioral patterns and tendencies. The family has been the potent factor for women (in particular) to do justice to the stereotypical roles in addition to the statuses enjoyed by men. The realization about biases that originate in families and how essential it becomes to change these sexist thoughts via application of feminist principles has been on the rise and will perhaps continue to see greater evolution in the coming days.

What Are The Principles Of Feminist Family Therapy?

The feminist family therapy ideas, is all about seeing to the personal and political contexts of the concerned individuals who are on the lookout for therapy. The social change must be seen in its totality and that is highlighted by feminist therapy that believes in committing to these changes. The idea behind the remedy is generating positivity on the person, his or her immediate community, and in turn, the society. Forming an egalitarian relationship between the therapist and the patient is of prime importance. This way, no sort of imbalance is supposed to occur between them and the entire process of offering therapy is completely streamlined and definitely more humane. Instead of rectifying the flaws and shortcomings, the feminist approach in family therapy aims to identify the strengths of the person and the family as therapists and experts believe that this will foster better relationships.

What Are The Best Techniques And Approaches To Consider?

While it largely depends upon the therapist who administers the therapy for a person or a group seeking help, there are some common techniques that the feminist theory emphasizes. A prime one is self-disclosure, wherein therapists talk about their own experiences (achieved after a certain sense of rapport has been established with the person). This is a wonderful measure to display the normalcy in struggles and how everyone faces almost similar or even the same problems. Not only do the understanding and trust increase, but the therapy mode gets better as well. In addition to that, therapists sometimes take to analyzing the various toxic gender roles rampant in society. In other words, they evaluate how the mental health of clients can be badly impacted when cultural and age-old norms are carried over the years.

Specialized and trained therapists assist clients to come out from any situation by altering or shifting their mindsets after seeing the social aspects affecting mental health, which can be either positive or negative. Therapists often suggest clients engage themselves more in social activism. This is a technique whereby feminist therapists tell their clients to use their resources and power to offer help to others. Often, it makes clients feel useful and empowered. The desirable outcomes can only be achieved after a few approaches are followed by the therapist. Ideally, there are four- cultural feminism, radical feminism, socialist feminism, and liberal feminism. Though the application differs among therapists, it’s all the same as long as the goals are well defined and the therapy administered likewise.

Where Do Gender Roles Apply In Feminist Therapy?

Feminist family therapy typically focuses on alleviating women’s issues. With time, however, others have also been included, like couples, children, families, and few specific ones like transgender men and women. This particular remedial measure is also found to provide relief to men, regardless of their preferences and gender identities.

Is There Any Drawback Of The Feminist Family Therapy?

One of the chief shortcomings of the techniques is self-disclosure. If not administered carefully, there’s a strong likelihood that clients can display inappropriate and unwanted behavior. In much the same way, if therapists resort to the process of evaluating social causes while continuing the therapy, clients can attribute negative feelings to the society at large and thereby refrain from taking any medical treatment.

With the passage of time, feminist therapy has gained acceptance among the masses as an integrative approach to psychotherapy. Perhaps, there will be more groundbreaking findings and application in real life instances of feminist theories, causing more number of people to find solace in such therapy.

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