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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Meet the specialists

 

I did research on a feminist approach to working with survivors of childhood sexual abuse. I sought out a feminist supervisor and strive to learn as much from her as I can.

— Mark Myran, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in ,

I am able to discuss and process systems of oppression that we all live in and how to change the systems. I will not discount your lived experience and will provide a safe space for you to tell your story.

— Caley Johnson, Associate Clinical Social Worker in Bellingham, WA
 

As a systems therapist, I believe that patriarchy, racism and capitalism have impacted the overall development and accessibility of healing services. I believe there is value in deconstructing the ways we have been impacted by those systems and how we can break down the barriers they create in our lives. I will help you lean into your own self-identity and free you from the pain that oppressive systems have caused you.

— Ashley MacLaren, Counselor in Seattle, WA

I believe that the counseling relationship should be equitable, not hierarchical. Intersectional feminism helps inform how one's marginalized and privileged identities have impacted one's mental health in the different systems we navigate.

— Eliza McBride, Licensed Professional Counselor Associate in Beaverton, OR
 

Feminism and a commitment to social justice guide my work. I consult the DSM-5 and provide a diagnosis when appropriate (usually when you need to submit a superbill for reimbursement), but I find that more frequently the issues clients face are the result of systemic oppression rather than a personal problem.

— Christina (Christy) Reichert, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Vancouver, WA

My core values are centered in feminist, anti-oppression ideals (the type of feminism that includes and honors women of color and trans folks). It means every day, I work with folks like you to unlearn socialization of gender, sexuality, and so many other qualities to find out who you really are, or at least who you want to be today. In therapy, we will talk about and examine how this impacts your relationships, sense of worth, and other ways of being in the world.

— Anna McDonald, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in San Francisco, CA
 

In my work, I focus on reworking gendered power dynamics with individuals and couples and addressing social inequities that keep partners form being collaborative with one another.

— Alana Ogilvie, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Portland, OR

As a therapist for women, I hold the power of what we can do, individually and collectively, to the highest esteem. I really do believe that WE RUN THE WORLD. The rest of the world just needs to catch up to what we can do. I also believe that it is the responsibility of today's women to take part in creating a world in which our daughters will not only survive, but thrive.

— Leah Rockwell, Licensed Professional Counselor in Mercersburg, PA
 

Feminist theory/therapy (in a nutshell) is 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 but also includes race and cultural discrimination, fat bias, economic oppression, ageism, ableism, heteronormativity, and cis-normativity.

— Stephanie Boulton, Counselor in Longmont, CO

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
 

I am well-trained in feminist psychotherapeutic practice with members of the queer community, racial/ethnic minority populations, and with women/womxn.

— Sam Naimi, Psychoanalyst in West Hollywood, CA

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
 

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 therapy is a set of related therapies arising from what proponents see as a disparity between the origin of most psychological theories and the majority of people seeking counseling being female. It focuses on societal, cultural, and political causes and solutions to issues faced in the counseling process.

— Monica Manuel, Licensed Professional Counselor in Atlanta, GA
 

"Feminism is a movement to end sexism, sexist exploitation, and oppression"--(bell hooks). Feminist therapy is used as a lens to investigate and explore how society is built for white, cis-het (cisgender/heterosexual), assigned male at birth (AMAB) people and the subsequent ramifications and consequences for others who fall out of those parameters. Intersectionality, within feminism, looks at the way differing inequalities create intersecting discrimination and inequity.

— Leta Lawhead, Associate Clinical Social Worker in Bellingham, WA

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.

— Desiree Howell, Psychologist in St. Petersburg, FL
 

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

Much of my work in the last 12 years has focused on women, BIPOC and LGBTQ+people. As our society continues to change and equality issues continue to be at the forefront of the political climate, it’s extremely important to equip historically non-advantaged people with the confidence, skills, and healthy self-esteem to succeed in a challenging world.

— Elaine Dove, Licensed Professional Counselor in Austin, TX