Feminist Therapy

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DarkOne
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Feminist Therapy

Post by DarkOne » Tue Mar 20, 9:36 2018

I came across this "Well, DUH" blurb that is mostly fluffy and seemingly not very deep on how women who need a mental health professional should consider finding a feminist therapist, especially if they have self-esteem issues. The article doesn't seem to be geared towards people who identify as feminist (and who will probably go "No shit, Sherlock."), but more towards average indifferent/unlabeled/undefined general population Jane.

But, honestly, the times I've sought out counseling, even if it wasn't directly related to self-esteem, not once have I ever thought of making that part of the selection criteria. Not once have I thought to "inquire about [the therapist's] “therapeutic orientation” (which is essentially the therapist’s beliefs about how mental health issues develop and how to best resolve them), and ask whether they utilize feminist principles in their work." Not saying this should be a deal breaker, but it's a question worth asking that hadn't crossed my mind. Like therapy and feminism exist in mutually exclusive realms. :screwy:

Have you ever asked the question for you or for someone else? Would you? Should you?
"Winston Churchill once said 'The eyes are the windows of your face.' " -A man who's very scared of plants.

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rowan
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Re: Feminist Therapy

Post by rowan » Tue Mar 20, 9:49 2018

Hmm. I haven't specifically asked that question, to be sure. But I'm a pretty raging feminist so if I came across any red flags in checking someone out I wouldn't call them.

Honestly though how do you ask questions of a therapist before just making an appointment to see if they'll be a good fit? This is probably my biggest reason I haven't found another therapist.
spacefem wrote:All your logical argue are belong to us!

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DarkOne
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Re: Feminist Therapy

Post by DarkOne » Tue Mar 20, 10:09 2018

Yes, fit definitely beats specific philosophies, and this question probably does not need asking because you'd spot the red flags in the conversation.

Maybe that's why the article feels fluffy. Not relevant to feminists who don't need to explicitly ask the question to whiff out philosophical misalignment. And not likely to be heeded by those who would benefit from asking the question, because if you have self-esteem issues and are not a feminist, what are the odds you'll throw that into the interview even if you've been told you should...?
"Winston Churchill once said 'The eyes are the windows of your face.' " -A man who's very scared of plants.

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Sonic#
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Re: Feminist Therapy

Post by Sonic# » Tue Mar 20, 16:19 2018

It's not a question I've thought to ask for myself, but I did indirectly ask it for someone else.

About a year ago my partner was going through a rough patch and she asked me to look for a therapist for her. So I looked at a long list of people and started whittling them down. Over time, I realized that I was tending towards a few criteria that I could glean from websites: were they also trained in talking about bodies? (Ex. Occupational therapy / sex therapy.) Were they either women themselves or someone women rated highly? Do they identify a broad range of clients that they work with?

I wasn't asking "Were they feminist?" but the likelihood that they would be a feminist was much higher. And of course fit mattered more: my partner gauging her level of comfort and compatibility. I think it's far more likely someone turns out feminist or feminist-friendly or simply open after they've proven to be effective than that I find a good therapist by asking about that directly.

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Re: Feminist Therapy

Post by octarineoboe » Tue Mar 20, 18:07 2018

I haven't explicitly asked, but I can't imagine myself getting along with a therapist who wasn't a feminist. My ex and I went to therapy before we broke up, and the first person we tried was a terrible fit for us, partly because he seemed to have really strict ideas about gender roles (and I don't know that it matters really, but, even though we ultimately broke up, we were 100% in agreement that he was a bad fit and we liked the second person better).

When i was recently looking for a new therapist, I went through a process similar to what Sonic describes - I didn't ask "are they feminist" but I looked for other things that probably correlated with feminism.

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Re: Feminist Therapy

Post by geldofc » Wed Mar 21, 1:28 2018

From my experience, non-feminist therapists will side with men, especially if they're "charming" men. I've also had a therapist side with me over my mom and it wasn't helpful. She said something that I heard as a misogynist generalization. I don't want to go to any couples' or family therapy when they're biased and lacking knowledge like that. It's a waste of time.
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