Feminist Therapy

Feminist therapy is a therapeutic approach grounded in feminist theory and philosophy. Central to this approach is the idea that women may experience mental health issues as a result of psychological oppression. In feminist therapy, the therapist and client are equals – the therapist's knowledge of psychology and the client's knowledge of herself come together to embrace the client's strengths. Feminist therapists seek to recognize and understand the client's socioeconomic and political situation, and are typically personally invested in ending oppression, empowering women and girls, and working toward social change. Think this approach might be right for you? Reach out to one of TherapyDen’s feminist therapy specialists today.

Meet the specialists

As a therapist for women, I hold the power of what we can do, individually and collectively, to the highest esteem. I really do believe that WE RUN THE WORLD. The rest of the world just needs to catch up to what we can do. I also believe that it is the responsibility of today's women to take part in creating a world in which our daughters will not only survive, but thrive.

— Leah Rockwell, Licensed Professional Counselor in Mercersburg, PA

Power and oppression impacts physical, mental, and social well-being. Therapy informed by intersectional feminism recognizes how our personal healing and growth is interrelated with social justice and collective liberation. Positions of both privilege and oppression are addressed in therapy. This includes issues of race, class and ability, as well as gender identity and sexual orientation.

— Ida Hammer, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in San Francisco, CA

Feminism and a commitment to social justice guide my work. I consult the DSM-5 and provide a diagnosis when appropriate (usually when you need to submit a superbill for reimbursement), but I find that more frequently the issues clients face are the result of systemic oppression rather than a personal problem.

— Christina Olson, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Vancouver, WA

I approach my work from a social justice lens, always considering the importance of intersectional oppression in psychological distress.

— Augustin Kendall, Counselor in Minneapolis, MN

In my work, I focus on reworking gendered power dynamics with individuals and couples and addressing social inequities that keep partners form being collaborative with one another.

— Alana Ogilvie, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Portland, OR

The Feminist perspective in counseling focuses on the importance of empowerment, and awareness of systems of oppression that impact people of all genders. What you can expect here is to be treated with respect and to have the whole person that you are, all your identities and lived experience validated and welcomed in counseling. You can expect that we can talk about the differences between our identities and lived experiences in a safe and productive way.

— Melissa Hartley, Licensed Professional Counselor Intern in Portland, OR

Everything I see I view through the lens of being a lesbian woman in a changing but still extremely sexist society. It impacts the dynamics of everyone's lives. I see empowering women as my purpose for this practice as well as my soul's mission for being here at this time on the planet. Feminist therapy for me has always been about fighting all the "isms" we face. It won't do to be progressive about women but not recognize race, class, gender identity, disability or immigration status.

— Deb Dettman, Clinical Social Worker in Chicago, IL

I was there at the beginning of the feminist therapy movement in the 1970's in Berkeley, CA. I remember working with other women to discover what a feminist approach to crisis/rape counseling might involve. My doctoral dissertation was a feminist analysis of women who attempt suicide. This was at a time when there was almost no research on why women made more attempts than men.

— Karin Wandrei, Clinical Social Worker in Rohnert Park, CA

I am rooted in anti-oppression as the lens through which we can make sense of many of our struggles. I believe in depathologizing mental illness by correctly identifying external sources of distress rather than seeing your pain as a personal problem. I have and continue to educate myself on systemic and interpersonal oppression in order to better understand the experiences of marginalized clients and to prevent harming my clients through my ignorance.

— Augustin Kendall, Counselor in Minneapolis, MN

I have been a life-long feminist, starting in the Sixties. I was fortunate enough to have some wonderful role models while in college, and some very enlightened professors. Also, in grad school and my post-doc, I had supervisors and others who helped to shape me into the woman and psychologist I am today. I have fought for gender equality all my life. In my practice, I help women who are being criticized, or controlled, or intimidated by toxic men, and build up their sense of self-woe

— Dr. Patricia Field, Clinical Psychologist in Los Angeles, CA

Feminist therapy is a framework for understanding that the personal is political & that societal context affects how we think of ourselves and how we behave with others. Furthermore, I expand my training in feminist therapy to include an understanding of how racism (over, systemic, and institutional) affects individuals of color. I received specialized training in working with people of color, women, LGBTQ, and other minority groups. I work daily to recognize and deal with my bias.

— Dr. Kaia Calbeck, Clinical Psychologist in Miami Beach, FL

Much of my work is dedicated to the goal of equality for women, especially in the areas of workplace opportunity and compensation.

— Janet Civitelli, Psychologist in Austin, TX

I have been utilizing the method the approach of Feminist centered therapy by knowing and validating women learn who they are relationally and culturally empowering women to take what they resonate with from society and leave behind with what they don't. I passionately believe that all women are equal no matter with what we identify ourselves as or who we want to be. Again, there is a place of belonging for everyone.

— Alicia L Goodman, Licensed Professional Counselor in Phoenix, AZ

As a therapist for women, I hold the power of what we can do, individually and collectively, to the highest esteem. I really do believe that WE RUN THE WORLD. The rest of the world just needs to catch up to what we can do. I also believe that it is the responsibility of today's women to take part in creating a world in which our daughters will not only survive, but thrive.

— Leah Rockwell, Licensed Professional Counselor in Mercersburg, PA

My therapeutic orientation is strengths-based, humanistic, relational, and informed by principles of social justice. I have an undergraduate degree in Women's Studies from UC Santa Cruz, and identify as a feminist.

— Carolyn Moore, Counselor in San Francisco, CA

Feminist therapy is an integrative approach to psychotherapy that focuses on gender and the particular challenges and stressors that women face as a result of bias, stereotyping, oppression, discrimination, and other factors that threaten their mental health. The therapeutic relationship, helps empower clients to understand the social factors that contribute to their issues, discover and claim their unique unique identity, and build on personal strengths to better their own lives and others

— Malika O'Neill, Licensed Professional Counselor in Media, PA

I am very very aware of the specific, confusing and contradicting issues women face on a daily basis. It's been my honor to help women ( and men) recognize patriarchy in both its subtle and obvious ways , discern how this word view impacts their sense of themselves and other women . lastly try to learn to navigate the relentless onslaught of micro and macro aggressions of being a woman in our society

— Deborah Hellerstein, Therapist in Chicago, IL

I utilize a feminist therapeutic approach, meaning that I understand symptoms and experiences from a societal and cultural perspective. Rather than seeing symptoms a result of an inherent fault within an individual, I see it as a response to the environment. Oppression, discrimination, and other societal pressures impact how a person experiences their environment, and therefore this is important in viewing how to treat the symptoms they experience.

— Candace Whitman, Counselor in Chicago, IL

Feminist therapy extends beyond gender to incorporate examination of inequity of power, emphasizing context and historicity, and the inseparability of personal and political realities. Feminist therapy recognizes the subjectivity of created knowledge, interrogates domination and marginalization, disputes pathologizing of deviance and difference, challenges binaries, purity, certainty, and dichotomies.

— Jessamyn Wesley, Licensed Professional Counselor in portland, OR