Feminist Therapy

Feminist therapy is a therapeutic approach grounded in feminist theory and philosophy. Central to this approach is the idea that women may experience mental health issues as a result of psychological oppression. In feminist therapy, the therapist and client are equals – the therapist's knowledge of psychology and the client's knowledge of herself come together to embrace the client's strengths. Feminist therapists seek to recognize and understand the client's socioeconomic and political situation, and are typically personally invested in ending oppression, empowering women and girls, and working toward social change. Think this approach might be right for you? Reach out to one of TherapyDen’s feminist therapy specialists today.

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Feminist Family Therapy is my bread and butter approach. I've taught classes on Feminist Family Therapy because it's what I know and do best.

— Gabrielle Gebel, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in Chicago, IL

We are all connected to one another other, and we strive to live a liberated life within hidden systems of inequity. Whether you consider yourself to be privileged or marginalized, the reality is we are all a part of oppressive structures we were born into, and this effects our ability to thrive. What can we do about this? Feminist therapy recognizes systems of power, and the harm they cause, centering transparency, empowerment, and the importance of the interpersonal as paths to freedom.

— Jackie Kosak, Art Therapist in Seattle, WA

Everything I see I view through the lens of being a lesbian woman in a changing but still extremely sexist society. It impacts the dynamics of everyone's lives. I see empowering women as my purpose for this practice as well as my soul's mission for being here at this time on the planet. Feminist therapy for me has always been about fighting all the "isms" we face. It won't do to be progressive about women but not recognize race, class, gender identity, disability or immigration status.

— Deborah Dettman, Clinical Social Worker in SEATTLE, WA

What forms of gender expression feel safest, most comfortable, or fun for you? Which forms feel unsafe or unavailable to you? Gender-based expectations and norms impact people of all genders, and may be holding you back from being yourself and feeling empowered. We will explore the ways that your gender impacts your life, including your values and any limiting beliefs that you may be internalizing from your upbringing, environment, or culture about yourself or others.

— Maryann Bavisotto, Social Worker in Buffalo, NY

My path as a human has been formed by feminist theorists and writers. I particularly relished discovering the "Backlash" feminism of Faludi, as well as writings by Black feminists from Audre Lord to Sonya Renee Taylor. Joanna Bird is another therapist and writer who has influenced my work as a feminist counselor: addressing issues of power both in the therapy relationship and the wider world, and working from a position of mutuality.

— Kirsti Reeve, Licensed Professional Counselor in Ferndale, MI

Feminist theory/therapy (in a nutshell) looks at systems of oppression and how it impacts our mental health and ability to function in society. This could be oppression based on traditional gender roles but also includes race and cultural discrimination, healthism, anti-fat bias, economic oppression, ageism, ableism, heteronormativity, and cis-normativity.

— Stephanie Boulton, Counselor in Boulder, CO

We will discuss your concerns within the context of your life. We'll work together to uncover/highlight your strengths, empower you to make the changes you desire, and help you connect more deeply to your authentic self, all within a supportive, non-judgmental space.

— Shelby Dwyer, Counselor in Boston, MA

I aim to provide clients with a safe and non-judgmental space to explore our identities, interpersonal relationships, hardships, and experiences in this life. I am hella good at creating space to deep dive into the ways you have been shaped by systems of oppression and cultural experiences. Together, we can unlearn damaging and false narratives and heal the pain they have caused you.

— Jackie Jacobo, Associate Professional Clinical Counselor in San Diego, CA

I believe that a large part of the angst that people struggle with has to do with the rules and roles that society puts on us. Change happens through examining how you view yourself in contrast to the narrative that the dominant society has set for you. These roles are often extremely limiting, and often fundamentally traumatizing. Through an egalitarian therapeutic relationship, I work to empower clients to do the work to figure out who you truly are and what type of life you want.

— Marjorie Boggs Vazquez, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in San Francisco, CA

Mental health is a feminist issue! As a feminist therapist, I focus on helping my clients build on their existing strengths, explore intersecting identities, and break out of oppressive expectations and societal pressures that aren't serving them. My work recognizes the impact of the systems we live within, and honors the ways we've learned to cope and survive, while creating space to grow towards the lives we want. My clients are women and nonbinary folks who want to thrive at work and home.

— Maya Borgueta, Psychologist in San Francisco, CA

I am a big supporter of women, and I firmly believe in the power of helping them connect with themselves and their voices and making themselves heard. I am trained in women's issues and feminist psychotherapy, and am passionate about walking with women through the journey of dismantling patriarchy and questioning beliefs that continue to make us feel we need to conform with the status quo and stay quiet.

— Nancy Juscamaita, Licensed Mental Health Counselor

I believe we cannot own ouselves without becoming aware of the world around us. We must be sensitive to the disparities that exist around and among us. The truths of the lives of women and girls must be not only heard, but appreciated and integrated, as we seek healing as a society, as a world, as a Universe. My treatment energies are strength-focused and I seek to help others by bearing witness to the reality of their pain and by walking beside them as they grow and flourish.

— Alicia Williams, Psychologist in Lawrenceville, NJ

I work from a feminist and social justice framework to hold clients up as the expert in their own experience and to acknowledge the relevance of social, environmental, and generational context.

— Beth Berta, Counselor

Power dynamics within the therapeutic relationship as well as society at large matter. We cannot ignore the systemic and environmental contexts in which we all live. I respect and honor your expertise on yourself and your world. I am here as a guide to help you heal, not as an expert to "fix." Collaborative and empowering are my most authentic ways to work with others.

— Dr. Desiree Howell, Psychologist in Kingsland, GA

I believe that the systems we exist under keep us from living our most authentic lives. Through feminist therapy, I have been able to hold space for people struggling to exist within a white patriarchal frame work and find ways to live within the fullness of their identities.

— Anna Lise Carolan, Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor Associate

As a feminist therapist, I understand how gender roles and societal expectations can influence our individuality and relationships with others. It can be hard to discern what is your own values and what ideas are prescribed from the outside world. I recognize that these issues affect all of us, regardless of our gender: male, female, non-binary, because we are all subject to loosing our authenticity when we have to perform expectations from others.

— Colleen Hennessy, Licensed Professional Counselor in , CA

I was there at the beginning of the feminist therapy movement in the 1970's in Berkeley, CA. I remember working with other women to discover what a feminist approach to crisis/rape counseling might involve. My doctoral dissertation was a feminist analysis of women who attempt suicide. This was at a time when there was almost no research on why women made more attempts than men.

— Karin Wandrei, Clinical Social Worker in Rohnert Park, CA

The Feminist perspective in counseling focuses on the importance of empowerment, and awareness of systems of oppression that impact people of all genders. What you can expect here is to be treated with respect and to have the whole person that you are, all your identities and lived experience validated and welcomed in counseling. You can expect that we can talk about the differences between our identities and lived experiences in a safe and productive way.

— Melissa Hartley, Licensed Professional Counselor in Gresham, OR

I am rooted in anti-oppression as the lens through which we can make sense of many of our struggles. I believe in depathologizing mental illness by correctly identifying external sources of distress rather than seeing your pain as a personal problem. I have and continue to educate myself on systemic and interpersonal oppression in order to better understand the experiences of marginalized clients and to prevent harming my clients through my ignorance.

— Augustin Kendall, Counselor in Minneapolis, MN