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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I view therapy as a space of mutual learning and understand that you will enter the therapeutic relationship with your own values, beliefs, and worldview. My goal is to empower you to challenge narratives about your reproductive and sexual history that have created feelings of shame, disconnection, and anxiety. We will work together to identify perspectives that have kept you feeling stuck and build new insights that empower you to move forward in a way that is authentic to you.

— Jessica Byrd, Counselor in Tempe, AZ

We are all connected to one another other, and we try 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

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) 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 Boulder, CO

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 Ewing, NJ

Societal, cultural and political influences shape how we internalize gender roles and how we parent. I help clients negotiate for their own personal space and/or time in relationships with their families, work or others. This may look like practicing assertiveness, or developing boundaries and limit setting. We'll develop a supportive relationship for fostering self-nurturance and self-care.

— Stephanie Arrington, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in ,

Forces of societal oppression affect all individuals of any gender background. I am passionate about helping people understand these forces and guiding them in choosing ways to respond in an empowered way. Feminism is a way to explore the way that you feel about yourself and the ways that this shows up in your life. Feminist therapy helps you to gain agency and power in your daily living and alter the ways in which you participate in systems of power that can be hurtful to you.

— Jennie Wang-Hall, Psychologist in San Marcos, CA

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

Feminist therapy isn't just for women! It is a modality that focuses on client issues through the lens of the client's experience and context, both personal and social/political/cultural; therefore it works well for clients of all kinds of identities! Diverse perspectives are encouraged/supported and the therapy relationship is more egalitarian to minimize the power differential. In other words, I work alongside my clients to help them work through their difficulties in a strengths-based way.

— Erin Shapiro, Licensed Professional Counselor in Dallas, TX

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

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

Empowering women--and men--to understand their experiences to the extent that cultural influences have played a role is a focus of my practice. I explore with my clients the ways in which their lives might be changed by living more true to themselves and finding the strength to do so.

— Christa Cummins, Professional Counselor Associate in Portland, OR

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

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

My approach is built on a foundation of feminist, anti-oppression values. I believe therapy is ineffective if the greater social context a person lives in is not examined critically; most of the time, doing so is empowering for all genders.

— Laurel Roberts-Meese, 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