Women and Mental Health

By Elizabeth Howell; Marjorie Bayes | Go to book overview

51
New Directions in
Counseling Women

JUDITH WORELL

Several of my colleagues raised eyebrows and shrugged shoulders in body-language response to the gist of this article. Is there a revolution in counseling women? There are some who maintain that a good counselor counsels people, and therefore the effective counselor can deal equally with both male and female clients. It follows from this view that there is no need for a separate body of information or unique strategies related to clients who happen to be female. In reviewing the recent literature on counseling women, I came across more than 500 articles dealing with ideologies, goals, needs, rationales, strategies, and research findings related to counseling women. Surely we have the data base now to support a contrary view: There is indeed a revolution in counseling the female client, matched by no other innovation in the field of counseling today.

In the following discussion, I explore four facets of this revolution that seem to represent a significant departure from previous orientations and procedures. The multiple dimensions of the new approach to counseling women is the emergence of a new discipline. The legitimacy of this new discipline is supported by the continuing development and expansion of each of the four factors: (1) a substantial and relative‐

____________________
I wish to express my appreciation to Beth Doll for her expert assistance in the preparation of this article, and to Pam Remer for her helpful comments on the first draft.

-620-

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