Feminist Family Therapy Seminar


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Seminar produced in the first semester of 2012.

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  • Williams, E. F. 1995, p. ix.
  • Marrow, S. L. and Hawxhurst, D. M. (1998). Feminist Therapy: Integrating Political Analysis in Counseling and Psychotherapy (p. 43). In Hill, M. (editor) (1998). Feminist Therapy as a Political Act. New York/London: The Haworth Press, Inc.
  • Shore, 1994, p. 63.
  • Fadli, M. (1995) “Feminist and Multi-Cultural Therapy”. In: Williams, E. F., p. 100.
  • Feminist Family Therapy Seminar

    1. 1. by Adriana Tanese Nogueira
    2. 2. What Is Feminism? Feminism is a collection of movements aimed atdefining, establishing, and defending equal political,economic, and social rights for women. In addition,feminism seeks to establish equal opportunities forwomen in education and employment.Feminism has been the first political moment of historical critiqueto family and society.Manifesto di rivolta femminile, luglio 1970 Feminism is a state of mind. Lee Johnson-Kaufmann
    3. 3. If Youre Not a Feminist, Then Youre a Bigot http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dddgkEg2XSA
    4. 4. Anyone who: Who Is feminist? • Supports the political, social and economic equality between the sexes, believing that women has been and still are, in different ways, discriminated and subordinated to men; • Is convinced that the biological sex should not be a pre-determinant factor that shapes the social identity or the sociopolitical and economic rights of a person; • Is affiliated to the political, cultural and social movement born in theThis is What a Feminist Looks „800, which has claimed and stillLike claims equal rights and dignity forhttp://www.youtube.com/watch women and men, and that in various?v=3YA13GNT8Mc&feature=relat ways is interested to comprehend theed dynamics of gender oppression.
    5. 5. There‟s More Than One Feminism  Liberal:  Postmodern:  Empowering women and helping  Using deconstruction and them overcome the limits and constraints of patriarchal discourse analysis to show socialization how reality is constructed Cultural:  Women-of-Color  Infusing society with women‟s (Womanists): values  Racism, classism, sexism, and Radical: heterosexism are all  Social activism interlocked Socialist:  Lesbian:  Race, class, nationality, and  Heterosexism at the core of historical biases women‟s oppression
    6. 6. Is feminismuniversal(transnational)? YES We need to work on the world so it will not be so oppressive. James Hillman
    7. 7. Naomi Wolf and Germaine Greer Naomi Wolf on Third Wave Feminismhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cCQI-ougLsg&feature=fvwrelGermaine Greer thinks women still have cause to beangryhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CITBPjJCU9o
    8. 8. Feminist Therapy  Value-drivenmore than technique- driven.Feminist therapy is a revolutionary therapeutic modality, which…means not only a technique but also a theory of individual and social change. Elizabeth Friar Williams
    9. 9. Feminism in Therapy Is… …a sensibility, a political and aesthetic center that informs awork pervasively. One does not merely make clinicalinterventions in the family as a feminist; one also greets thefamily and sets the fee as a feminist. The words spokenduring a session that catch one’s attention or that slip by, thethings that make one feel warm toward the family, and thethings that offend are all determined in part by thissensitivity. Deborah Anna Leupnitz
    10. 10. Towards the Others  Oppositional character Critique of the psychotherapeutic mainstreamStandards of mental health for women emphasized the qualities that menwanted and needed in women. The result was that women who could notor would not meet those standards suffered from the anger and abuse,emotional and physical, of frustrated men as well as from the rejectionfrom male intimates, co-workers, and bosses. Elizabeth Friar Williams
    11. 11. Common Points in Feminist Family Therapy  Patriarchy is alive and sick in sociopolitical life and in the life of families; “Normal family” is too often a life not good for women; Power in relationships, therapy and society must be addressed, analyzed and challenged; Reforming families in ways that fully empower and enfranchise women economically, socially, and politically; Positive attitude toward women, social analyses, explicit consideration of gender issues for both genders and treating the personal as political.
    12. 12. Women in the “adequate” (also called normal) families were [are!] “overwhelmed with responsibility”, “obese”, “psychosomatically ill”, and “sexual dissatisfied”. The men in these same families were “functioning well” and were not sexually dissatisfied. Thus … an adequate family consists of a husband and children who are functioning adequately and a wife who is not. Deborah Anna LeupnitzThe “normal”family, not sonormal.
    13. 13. Feminist Therapy Beliefs In the sociocultural causes of distress In valuing women‟s experiencesIn integrated analysis of oppression And in social change
    14. 14. Who Is Sick?  My practice tells me I can no longer distinguish clearly between neurosis of self and neurosis ofworld, psychopathology of self and psychopathologyof world. Moreover, it tells me that to place neurosis and psychopathology solely in personal reality is a delusional repression of what is actually, realistically, being experienced. James Hillman
    15. 15. Wake Up, Therapists! Therapies that avoid gender issues contribute to genderoppression both in theory and in practice: Gender is part of the therapist‟s psychological, social, and economical own system; Issues that the therapist is not aware of are reproduced in therapy, thus supporting the maintenance of the status quo. Im the result of upbringing, class, race, gender, social prejudices, and economics. So Im a victim again. A result. James Hillman
    16. 16. Who Is Afraid of Feminism? Anyone who takes advantage of the patriarchal system: men and women alike.
    17. 17. Feminism Is Feared Because:   It disrupts traditional family homeostasis;  It challenges men‟s decision making and leadership;  It unearths the underlying power issues that underpin most romantic relationships;  It forces self-questioning and self-awareness, interrupting the convenient flow of complicity and inertia.
    18. 18. Feminist Theory Videohttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OcEwKpnTsoQ&feature=relatedNaomi Wolf debunks the myths around pregnancyand motherhoodhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L9ZX3T-rzLM
    19. 19. Feminist Awareness in Psychotherapy  In all or most of couple relationships there‟s a latent power issue that if not solve will undermine the relationship. Society as a whole is evolving. Avoiding to face power issues both in gender and society reflects an understanding of counseling as a bubble separated from the larger environment; Many women (and also men) show spontaneous conscious evolution of gender issues; therapists who don‟t take it in consideration are pushing backward their client‟s process.
    20. 20. Continued  Feminism implies in a broader conception of what human beings are and a philosophy about their life together.A female therapist should set an example for her clients. Because she honors and respects herself she‟s a feminist. A male therapist should be feminist because he honors and respect his female partner, mother and girlfriends, thus representing a model for his male clients. A gay therapist should be feminist in solidarity of the discrimination they both know.
    21. 21. Key Concepts in Feminist Therapy   Honoring the experience and perceptions of women  The personal is political  Social transformation and advocacy
    22. 22. Feminist Family Therapy Goals  Developing egalitarian relationships Learning to value women‟s voices and perspectives Making room for gender-unique identity development Analyzing sex-role socialization in the life of families Identity internalized sex-role messages and beliefs Challenging and replacing sex-role stereotypes and scripts More self-enhancing belief and stories
    23. 23. Feminist Identity Development by Downing and Rousch (1984)Step 1. Passive acceptance Feminism? What is it? I suffer no machismo in my life. It is what it is. I don‟t believe in feminism. Feminism is anti-family. I can‟t have a romantic relationship and being feminist. Feminism is against God. Everyone has their own righteous place in society.
    24. 24. Feminist Identity Development by Downing and Rousch (1984) Step 2. Revelation Oh my goodness! I‟m a victim! They abused and still abuse me. That‟s not fair. I don‟t want this for me and my daughter. I‟ve been living for years in this and I didn‟t realize it! He‟s not the man I thought he was. I don‟t want to be a victim!
    25. 25. Feminist Identity Development by Downing and Rousch (1984) Step 3. Embeddedness To hell with men! I want to know what other women‟s lives look like. Women = my sisters Feminine and feminist culture is mine. Looking for the Sacred Feminine. Let‟s create a women‟s group, a women‟s studies, a women‟s world!
    26. 26. Feminist Identity Development by Downing and Rousch (1984) Step 4. Synthesis There are some good men. Creating alliances that can favor women. Oppression is a larger issue. Solidarity with other minorities. Men friends of women do exist. We‟ll change the patriarchal system gradually. Empowering people on the move for a more just and tolerant world.
    27. 27. Feminist Identity Development by Downing and Rousch (1984) Step 5. Activecommitment Self-appreciation Personal freedom Pride in being a woman Appreciation of women in general Appreciation of some aspects/part of the dominant culture Real change = only through social and political activism
    28. 28. Feminist Family Therapists:  Meet families in whatever stage form and at whatever stage they are in; Facilitate development; Allow and contextualize the expression of feelings from fear and anger to pride and celebration; Help members of the dominant culture look at themselves, challenge their perspectives, and find ways to become supportive of their partner and children.
    29. 29. Feminist Therapists Role and Function  Congruence between their  De-pathologize behaviors personal and professional and interactions lives - What were you told in the hospital? Promoting egalitarian - I am borderline. relationships - You were molested and raped in your Listen and acknowledge childhood – let’s see, starting when you women‟s voice were 6. Your mother was in jail on drug charges when you were sent to live with Reframing you aunt and uncle. And older male Affirming and valuing cousin also molested you; your uncle abused you; and you have been in two feminine characteristics marriages where men have verbally and physically abused you, but you are borderline!?! James R. Bitter
    30. 30. Tecnique  1. Egalitarian relationships Collaboration Partnership Consent form Therapy purposes
    31. 31. Tecnique continued 2. Consciousness- raising  Link personal experience to one‟s position as a woman in  Leaderless group in a male-dominated culture; order to:  Identify oneself as a woman  Gain a validated who shares a common fate voice with all women  Share personal stories  Taking action to change oneself and the social  Raise awareness structure that oppresses women.
    32. 32. Tecnique continued  3. Gender role and power analyses Families are institutions thathave most thoroughly absorbed the stereotyped roles and power imbalances imposed by dominant global cultures.
    33. 33. Tecnique continued 4. Appropriate self-  Connecting individual‟s and family‟s struggles to the disclosure collective experiences of women and families;Grounded in authenticity  Normalizing thoughts, feelings, and actions;and a sense of mutuality.  Helping clients to realized that they are not alone in their struggles.
    34. 34. Tecnique continued 5. Bibliotherapy Non-fiction “Her stories” Feminist psychology and counseling Self-help books Educational videos and films Movies Novels
    35. 35. Tecnique continued 6. Assertiveness  Self-esteem training  Confidence  Feeling capable in the = worldStanding up for  Speaking up oneself
    36. 36. Tecnique continued  7. Reframing Elevate positive intention; Shift the focus from individual to systemic perspective; From scapegoating women to consider how dominant cultural has affected individuals.
    37. 37. Tecnique continued  8. Relabeling Deconstruct the power and negative effects of societal norms and expectations; Analysis of causes of life difficulties; Normalize human development; Support people were they are at and open up new possibilities for change.
    38. 38. Conditions and Dimensions of Empowerment in Feminist Therapy  Personal Interpersonal Sociopolitical (Power within) (Power with (Power in others) society) Permission Individual rights Approval or Legal rights (May I? Am I and freedom permission from worthy?) another Enablement Personal resources Support and Access to (Can I? Am I advocacy from resources able?) others Information “Know thyself” Sharing stories, Questioning(What do I need to breaking silences “the truth” know?)
    39. 39. Growth and Expansion  Although therapists are oftennicknamed “shrinks,” I prefer to think of the work we do as having an expansive effect on clients. … we enable clients to open inner doors, widen horizons, unfurl leaves, and develop inner potentials. Lesly Irene Shore, PhD
    40. 40. For every woman who is tired of acting weak when she is strong, there is a man who is tired of appearing strong when he feels vulnerable,For every woman who is tired of acting dumb, there is a man who is burdened with the constant expectations of “knowing it all”,For every woman who is tired of being called an “emotional female,” there is a man who is denied the right to be weak and gentle.For every woman who is tired of being a sex object, there is a man who must worry about his potency.For every woman who is denied meaningful employment, with equal pay, there is a man who must bear full financial responsibility for another human being.For every woman who was not taught the intricacies of an automobile, there is a man who was not taught the satisfactions of cooking.For every woman who takes a step toward her own liberation. there is a man who finds the way of freedom has been made a little easier. Maria Fadli
    41. 41. Concluding and Opening a New Venue  The feminist perspectiveFeminism opened a window on goes far beyond the initialthe reality of society,relationships and individual feminist movement. Itpsychology. It‟s about: addresses different layers of1. Full human rights for the question, one deeper women; than the other.2. Balancing gender power in the relationship;3. Recovering the value of feelings, emotions and the “irrational” within the relationship;4. Espousing one‟s inner other side/opposite. It’s like peeling an onion. Some cry, others finally get a new flavor to their life.