Women and Mental Health

By Elizabeth Howell; Marjorie Bayes | Go to book overview

42
Psychotherapy
with Women Clients:
The Impact of Feminism

ELIZABETH HOWELL

The last decade has witnessed widespread questioning of the appropriateness of the various forms of psychotherapy for women clients. This questioning comes in the wake of the consciousness-raising movement as well as in response to increased awareness of sexism in the practice and theory of psychotherapy. As a result, a new form of therapy, broadly called "feminist therapy," has developed. In addition, so-called "traditional" therapy has broadened its scope to better encompass the needs of women clients and to accommodate feminist concerns. One result is that the impact of the therapist's gender on the psychotherapeutic process has now received greater attention. Such questions as whether a woman should have a male or female therapist, or whether men undertake to treat women at all, are frequently asked. There has been a surge of interest in aspects of the female-female encounter in the psychotherapy relationship, including transference and countertransference and common concerns in the "real" relationship.

The papers collected in part V reflect the impact of feminism on psychotherapy. They present ways in which greater awareness of the issues presented by the woman client and of feminist concerns can be incorporated into the modalities of individual, family, and group psy

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