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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Identifying as female in our culture comes with so many landmines. Navigating relationships, work/life balance, parenting, misogyny, and so on. If you've clicked on this specialty, you know. I like to work from an feminist perspective to see how gender underlies other stressors. Feminism is intersectional, and if you identify as female (or on the feminine side of the spectrum) this space is for you.

— Jennie Hagen, Licensed Professional Counselor in Vancouver, WA

I was trained the tradition of the Stone Center at Wellesley in what was then called Feminist Therapy, but is now called "Relational Cultural Therapy". This is a strengths based approach that honors not only the specific needs of women but also takes into account the ethnic and cultural backgrounds that shape our worldview. Healing happens in relationships with others, and therapy is a way to practice this.

— Jessica Foley, Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor in Waltham, MA

I identify strongly as a feminist therapist, and I believe that gender roles influence socialization; ultimately, our lives. I have an undergraduate degree in Women Studies and believe that gender identity development may impact a variety of issues that female-identified clients experience, like interpersonal relationships, career, aging, sexuality.

— Shelley Samuels, Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor in Oakland, CA

My experience in utilizing feminist theory involves a deep commitment to creating an empowering, inclusive, and affirming therapeutic space where clients can explore and address the impact of societal dynamics on their lives. I am dedicated to helping clients navigate these complexities, find their voices, and work towards personal and collective empowerment.

— Jada Maldonado, Mental Health Counselor in New York, NY

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 in Chicago, IL

The way I practice therapy is guided by an acute awareness of how strict adherence to gender roles negatively impacts people of all genders. My feminism is trans-inclusive and intersectional, which means that I understand that gender roles and expectations impact people differently based on race, culture, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability status, age, socioeconomic status, and other features of your identity.

— Jennie Steinberg, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Studio City, CA

Let's be honest, systems of oppression are to blame here. I love supporting my clients in healing from systemic racism, sexism, fat-phobia, ableism, and queerphobia. You may not have control over these systems, but you do have control over how you show up for yourself in this sometimes fucked up world.

— Dina Bdaiwi, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in Irvine, CA

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

I specialize in integrating feminist theory into therapy, providing a framework that addresses power imbalances, social inequalities, and the impact of gender roles on mental health. Through a feminist lens, I empower clients to explore and challenge societal norms, fostering self-awareness and personal agency. This approach aims to promote equality, inclusivity, and a deeper understanding of the intersectionality of clients' experiences.

— Christina Arceri, Licensed Mental Health Counselor in New York, NY

The problems that my clients face do not happen within a vacuum. Each one of my clients holds various identities -- race, gender, sexual orientation, religious, physical ability -- that contextualize and give shape to the experiences that they are having in the world. An intersectional, feminist approach to therapy takes into account the overlapping effects of each one of the identities that you hold as you move about the world.

— Amie Roe, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in New York, NY

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

The word feminist can be loaded depending on your identities. To me, feminist therapy is intersectional and includes looking at layers of privilege and oppression. Feminist theory as a therapeutic lens involves collaboration, balancing power dynamics in the traditional client/therapist relationship, and talking about identities and systems and how they impact your well-being.

— Gabriella Losada, Professional Counselor Associate in Portland, OR

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

As a feminist therapist I strive for therapy relationships that are as egalitarian as possible while still acknowledging power differences inherent in therapy. We will pay attention to your unique identity while working to understand how oppression you have experienced has affected your thoughts, feelings and ideas about yourself. Feminist therapy is for everyone -- people of any gender, race, sexual orientation, age, or religion.

— Cindy Blank-Edelman, Mental Health Counselor in Cambridge, MA

I love feminist therapy because it is for all genders and all people: It analyzes power structures and their effects upon people. Each person's intersectional identity, along with their unique lived experience, is differently affected by the current politics and systemic structures. This model helps frame issues to show that they are likely externally caused, which can remove the feeling of self-blame. It also uses education, advocacy, and strength-building to encourage self empowerment.

— Kate Mageau, Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor Associate in Seattle, WA

My approach is strongly informed by a critical feminist, social justice approach to individual and relationship therapy, examining the impact of structural and systemic oppression on our sense of self, sense of belonging, and our connections to our values and sense of purpose in our lives.

— Kristin Tucker, Associate Clinical Social Worker in Seattle, WA

As a practitioner, I have been trained in and have written about Feminist Therapy. Specifically, my practice is rooted in trans-inclusive feminism, which also acknowledges the cultural and societal forces that marginalize the experiences of women, transgender/nonbinary people, LGB and Queer people, People of Color/BIPOC, and other groups. Feminist Therapy acknowledges that marginalized people cannot live absent of politics, because their lived experiences have been politicized or criminalized.

— Karalyn Violeta, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Brooklyn, NY

I am a feminist and I use my education in Women's Studies to allow me the perspective to understand the complexity of how gender norms affect our daily lives. As a therapist I cannot separate my desire for gender equality from my work with my clients. Whether you identify as LGBTIQ or simply are seeking non-judgmental support for a non-traditional relationship, please know that my practice is open and accepting to all. We are all different and I learn from each of my clients to offer the best.

— Sara Fischer Sanford, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in SAN FRANCISCO, CA