Egalitarian and More
LAURA S. BROWN
Feminist therapy is a theory of psychotherapy that combines technical eclecticism with strong core principles informing the work and worldview of the therapist. These guiding concepts, which include as central the notion that therapy is a collaborative, egalitarian partnership of experts, would appear to make it particularly well suited for working with the psychotherapist-as-client. Many of the innovations and directions taken in feminist therapy during its three decades of existence have derived from the experiences of feminist therapists themselves in their personal therapy, both positive and problematic.
When the therapeutic paradigm is that of two experts working together, what happens when both parties define themselves as experts in the change process rather than having that expertise assigned only, or primarily, to the person currently sitting in the therapist's chair? Because the whole concept of egalitarianism is so open to interpretation, and so rife with inner contradictions, the practice of feminist therapy with other therapists can be extremely challenging. Therapists, like other clients, present to therapy with the full range of issues and problems. Therapists experience characterological twists and turns that can undermine the best efforts of the treatment provider. Therapists experience the aftereffects of trauma and interpersonal violence, impairing trust and the capacity to build relationships.
I have been practicing as a psychotherapist since 1979, and from the very beginning have worked with other mental health professionals. Several factors contributed to this happening so soon in my work. Although I was a young and inexperienced therapist when I opened my practice, I was
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Book title: The Psychotherapist's Own Psychotherapy: Patient and Clinician Perspectives. Contributors: Jesse D. Geller - Editor, John C. Norcross - Editor, David E. Orlinsky - Editor. Publisher: Oxford University Press. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 2004. Page number: 265.
This material is protected by copyright and, with the exception of fair use, may not be further copied, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means.