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Running head: Feminist and empowerment theories
Feminist and empowerment theories Cultural Considerations for
Interventions
Social workers should consider interventions that are inclusive
of cultural factors of Peter and Fernando. Social workers should
be sensitive to client needs as the majority of LGBT individuals
have experienced verbal abuse due to their sexual identity
(Zastrow & Kirst-Ashman, 2016). In addition to LGBT
considerations, social workers must also consider other cultural
factors. American culture values independency and views
morality in terms of work ethic (Toseland & Rivas, 2017). Peter
is dedicated to his work due to his American culture and
Fernando’s Latino culture values collectivism which can cause
conflicting cultural values.
Feminist & Empowerment Theories
Feminist theory can be applied with Peter and Fernando to
promote self-determination and problem-solving skills for their
current and future challenges. Feminist theory states that
patriarchal culture is concerned with power and oppression over
minority populations (Adams et al., 2013). Specific feminist
techniques include: an analysis of oppression and power,
exploring client self-esteem and interdependence, and
empowering clients (Sommers-Flanagan & Sommers-Flanagan,
2014). Patriarchy is damaging to males in society (Sommers-
Flanagan & Sommers-Flanagan, 2014) and teaches ‘manhood’
where the dominant heterosexual culture views homosexual men
and women as ‘others’ (Adams et al., 2013). This can be seen
with Fernando’s father who has disapproval of his son’s sexual
identity. In addition, Peter has taken on the responsibility of
head of household while Fernando has taken on the role of stay-
at-home caretaker to Jose. Feminist theory brings together
personal and political thinking to increase the client’s power
(Turner, 2017).
When applying feminist theory within a relationship there is an
emphasis on the concept of mutuality wherein there is a sense of
respect, interest, empathy, and responsiveness experienced by
both parties (Turner & Maschi, 2015). This fosters resilience
through a two-way relational dynamic (Turner & Maschi, 2015).
The use of this approach within the case of Peter and Fernando
would help to foster resilience in the family dynamic through
this emphasis on mutuality. By fostering empathy, respect, and
responsiveness within the relationship dynamic will help Peter
and Fernando improve communication through empathy and
respect for each other’s perspective.
Empowerment is a concept that is strongly supported by
evidence in social work practice (Turner, 2017). Empowerment
theory and feminist theory both provide social workers with the
expertise to validate client experiences, support client strengths,
and promote collectivism through mutual aid and support
(Turner, 2017). Three dimensions of empowerment theory
include: (1) a development of a more positive identity and sense
of self, (2) build knowledge and critical thinking to connect
personal and political realities, and (3) build resources and
strategies to achieve personal and collective goals (Turner,
2017). Empowerment theory assumes that the client(s) are the
expert on the issue at hand and have within them the strengths
to overcome the given problem (Turner & Maschi, 2015). It is
then the job of the social worker to connect the client to
resources within their community and assist them in utilizing
those resources in keeping with their identified strengths
(Turner & Maschi, 2015).
Interventions can include techniques from both theories to
determine short- and long-term goals for Peter and Fernanado.
One intervention for consideration in this case would be
solution focused therapy. Through the use of solution focused
techniques, the social worker is able to gain the varying
perspectives of the family members of the current problem and
engage the family in identifying goals through the use of the
miracle question, scaling questions, and problem tracking
questions (Cooper & Lesser, 2015). The use of a solution
focused approach empowers the clients through the use of
techniques that create a vision of future possibilities and draws
from past successes (Cooper & Lesser, 2015). Another potential
intervention in this case would be relationship education,
wherein the goal is to enhance relationship satisfaction through
the effective communication and establishing relationship
expectations which can be tailored to account for life changes
such as adjusting to parenthood (Pepping & Halford, 2014).
Through the use of this approach, couples are able to identify
stressors within the relationship such as family and social
acceptance, division of labor, and relationship/role expectations
that could be contributing to the presenting problem and how to
negotiate their way through those stressors together as a family
unit (Pepping & Halford, 2014).
References
(Adams et al., 2013)**** ALREADY ON WIKI
Cooper, M. G. & Lesser, J. G. (2015). Clinical Social Work: An
Integrated approach (5th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson
Education Inc.
Pepping, C. A. & Halford, W. K. (2014). Relationship
Education and Therapy for Same-Sex Couples. Australian and
New Zealand Journal of Family Therapy, 35, 431-444. DOI:
10/1002anzf.1075
Sommers-Flanagan, J., & Sommers-Flanagan, R. (2014).
Counseling and psychotherapy theories in context and practice
[Video file]. Retrieved from
http://www.psychotherapy.net.ezp.waldenulibrary.org/stream/w
aldenu/video?vid=277
Toseland, R. W., & Rivas, R. F. (2017). An introduction to
group work practice (8th ed.). Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.
Turner, F. J. (Ed.). (2017). Social work treatment: Interlocking
theoretical approaches (6th ed.). New York, NY: Oxford
University Press.
Turner, S. G. & Maschi, T. M. (2015). Feminist and
Empowerment Theory and Social Work Practice. Journal of
Social Work Practice, 29(2), 151-162. Retrieved from
http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02650533.2014.941282
Zastrow, C. H., & Kirst-Ashman, K. K. (2016). Understanding
human behavior in the social environment (10th ed.). Boston,
MA: Cengage Learning.

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Running head Feminist and empowerment theories Feminist and emp.docx

  • 1. Running head: Feminist and empowerment theories Feminist and empowerment theories Cultural Considerations for Interventions Social workers should consider interventions that are inclusive of cultural factors of Peter and Fernando. Social workers should be sensitive to client needs as the majority of LGBT individuals have experienced verbal abuse due to their sexual identity (Zastrow & Kirst-Ashman, 2016). In addition to LGBT considerations, social workers must also consider other cultural factors. American culture values independency and views morality in terms of work ethic (Toseland & Rivas, 2017). Peter is dedicated to his work due to his American culture and Fernando’s Latino culture values collectivism which can cause conflicting cultural values. Feminist & Empowerment Theories Feminist theory can be applied with Peter and Fernando to promote self-determination and problem-solving skills for their current and future challenges. Feminist theory states that patriarchal culture is concerned with power and oppression over minority populations (Adams et al., 2013). Specific feminist techniques include: an analysis of oppression and power, exploring client self-esteem and interdependence, and empowering clients (Sommers-Flanagan & Sommers-Flanagan, 2014). Patriarchy is damaging to males in society (Sommers- Flanagan & Sommers-Flanagan, 2014) and teaches ‘manhood’ where the dominant heterosexual culture views homosexual men and women as ‘others’ (Adams et al., 2013). This can be seen with Fernando’s father who has disapproval of his son’s sexual identity. In addition, Peter has taken on the responsibility of head of household while Fernando has taken on the role of stay- at-home caretaker to Jose. Feminist theory brings together personal and political thinking to increase the client’s power (Turner, 2017). When applying feminist theory within a relationship there is an
  • 2. emphasis on the concept of mutuality wherein there is a sense of respect, interest, empathy, and responsiveness experienced by both parties (Turner & Maschi, 2015). This fosters resilience through a two-way relational dynamic (Turner & Maschi, 2015). The use of this approach within the case of Peter and Fernando would help to foster resilience in the family dynamic through this emphasis on mutuality. By fostering empathy, respect, and responsiveness within the relationship dynamic will help Peter and Fernando improve communication through empathy and respect for each other’s perspective. Empowerment is a concept that is strongly supported by evidence in social work practice (Turner, 2017). Empowerment theory and feminist theory both provide social workers with the expertise to validate client experiences, support client strengths, and promote collectivism through mutual aid and support (Turner, 2017). Three dimensions of empowerment theory include: (1) a development of a more positive identity and sense of self, (2) build knowledge and critical thinking to connect personal and political realities, and (3) build resources and strategies to achieve personal and collective goals (Turner, 2017). Empowerment theory assumes that the client(s) are the expert on the issue at hand and have within them the strengths to overcome the given problem (Turner & Maschi, 2015). It is then the job of the social worker to connect the client to resources within their community and assist them in utilizing those resources in keeping with their identified strengths (Turner & Maschi, 2015). Interventions can include techniques from both theories to determine short- and long-term goals for Peter and Fernanado. One intervention for consideration in this case would be solution focused therapy. Through the use of solution focused techniques, the social worker is able to gain the varying perspectives of the family members of the current problem and engage the family in identifying goals through the use of the miracle question, scaling questions, and problem tracking questions (Cooper & Lesser, 2015). The use of a solution
  • 3. focused approach empowers the clients through the use of techniques that create a vision of future possibilities and draws from past successes (Cooper & Lesser, 2015). Another potential intervention in this case would be relationship education, wherein the goal is to enhance relationship satisfaction through the effective communication and establishing relationship expectations which can be tailored to account for life changes such as adjusting to parenthood (Pepping & Halford, 2014). Through the use of this approach, couples are able to identify stressors within the relationship such as family and social acceptance, division of labor, and relationship/role expectations that could be contributing to the presenting problem and how to negotiate their way through those stressors together as a family unit (Pepping & Halford, 2014). References (Adams et al., 2013)**** ALREADY ON WIKI Cooper, M. G. & Lesser, J. G. (2015). Clinical Social Work: An Integrated approach (5th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education Inc. Pepping, C. A. & Halford, W. K. (2014). Relationship Education and Therapy for Same-Sex Couples. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Family Therapy, 35, 431-444. DOI: 10/1002anzf.1075 Sommers-Flanagan, J., & Sommers-Flanagan, R. (2014). Counseling and psychotherapy theories in context and practice [Video file]. Retrieved from http://www.psychotherapy.net.ezp.waldenulibrary.org/stream/w aldenu/video?vid=277 Toseland, R. W., & Rivas, R. F. (2017). An introduction to group work practice (8th ed.). Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon. Turner, F. J. (Ed.). (2017). Social work treatment: Interlocking theoretical approaches (6th ed.). New York, NY: Oxford University Press. Turner, S. G. & Maschi, T. M. (2015). Feminist and
  • 4. Empowerment Theory and Social Work Practice. Journal of Social Work Practice, 29(2), 151-162. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02650533.2014.941282 Zastrow, C. H., & Kirst-Ashman, K. K. (2016). Understanding human behavior in the social environment (10th ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.