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

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

Unpacking how our socio-political environment influences our mental health is a huge part of my work and I encourage these conversations in session.

— Kori Loewe, Counselor in Detroit, MI

I believe societal pressures and constructs impact every individual, and therefore, every relationship. Feminist therapy and feminist family therapy acknowledge how societal expectations, gender constructs, and personal biases can influence an individual's ability to connect with others and prescribe how they do so. As a feminist therapist, I can help you understand and examine how expectations from those around us influence our sense of self and how we show up in our relationships and lives.

— Shelly Hogan, Counselor in Austin, TX

My approach to psychotherapy has aligned with relational-cultural theory even before I studied about it. It is a model with roots in feminist theory and in recognition of the ways our culture and society, with their influences and constraints from power differentials, can shape who we are and how we can navigate our worlds. Using my creative side, I also approach therapeutic interventions beyond the conventional through inclusion of community models that are native to the people I work with.

— Su Su Maung, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Oakland, CA

Feminism and a commitment to social justice guide my work. I consult the DSM-5 and provide a diagnosis when appropriate, 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

Society dictates so much of how we present ourselves to others. Erasing the "messages" we are taught and really seeing ourselves as we are can be incredibly empowering and eye-opening. Even though my approach is very integrative, I see my clients through a very feminist lens.

— Heather Sexton, Counselor in SAINT CLAIRSVILLE, OH

How do we learn to stand in our power, and know that we don't have to fit the mold of being a "nice girl" or being quiet or pretty or thin to get our sense of esteem. We can take up space, disagree, be bold and messy and experience freedom and a sense of connection. We are so heavily influenced by subtle (and not so subtle) messages about what it means to be "good" female. Let's change this story and get out of the box; speak our truth and live boldly (we can do this with kindness and love.

— Patricia Young, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in San Diego, CA

I have participated in a Feminist Therapy-based group practice for 14 years. I treat women, men, couples and families through the lens of how culture and society affects our behaviors and attitudes toward ourselves and others. This orientation is welcoming to all.

— Diana Mendelson, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in SANTA ROSA, CA

I hold an intersectional feminist worldview, which means that I look not just at individual circumstances that impede personal growth, but also effects of systemic oppression fostered by a culture of white supremacy, patriarchy, homophobia and ableism. I hold all worldviews with gentleness and respect, but this perspective is foundational in my own understanding of the larger context of our work.

— Amanda Ball, Counselor in Portland, OR

Feminism is going through growth spurts. As the therapist and nutritionist to women and femmes, I am constantly reading and educating myself on how to best, and most respectfully honor the multitude of identities that each person inevitably carries as well as attend trainings than emphasize social justice and activism. Anne Balay is credited as saying, “If your feminism isn’t intersectional, then it isn’t feminism.” Our work together will help you liberate not only your body, also your mind.

— Emma Doerner, Counselor in Seattle, WA

I am committed to the culture change necessary to heal and uplift women, non-binary folks, and everyone who experiences gendered violence. My approach includes processing internalized oppression due to systemic violence, healing interpersonal violence, and building a critical awareness of everyday sexism. Together we work toward self-power, community power, and honest expression of our experiences.

— Caitlin Keitel, Therapist in Portland, OR

Mental health is a feminist issue! As a feminist therapist, I focus on helping my clients build on their existing strengths, explore intersecting identities, and break out of oppressive expectations and societal pressures that aren't serving them. My work recognizes the impact of the systems we live within, and honors the ways we've learned to cope and survive, while creating space to grow towards the lives we want. My clients are women and nonbinary folks who want to thrive at work and home.

— Maya Borgueta, Psychologist in San Francisco, CA

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

My approach is built on a foundation of feminist, anti-oppression values. I believe therapy is ineffective if the greater social context a person lives in is not examined critically; most of the time, doing so is empowering for all genders.

— Laurel Roberts-Meese, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in SAN FRANCISCO, CA

I know no other way to conduct therapy than to consider the role of power and privilege not only in my clients' lives outside session but also within our relationship. Mental health is shaped by our position in society, based on race/ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age, income/class, ability, faith, and multiple other dimensions. In order to assist clients to maximize their mental health it is critical to identify and discuss openly these dimensions.

— Donna Gardner-Jacoby, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Crystal Lake, IL

Many early therapists operated from a belief that the therapist was the all-knowing person in the room and that therapy worked best when the therapist maintained his (since most early therapists were male) distance. Most therapists today no longer hold this belief system. Instead, we view the work of therapy as a collaboration between two people who each bring something important and unique to the table.

— Marla Cass, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in San Francisco, CA

To me, feminist therapy essentially means social justice therapy. We cannot do therapy in a vacuum. All of our lives are influenced by patriarchy, white supremacy, ableism, cisheteronormativity, capitalism, etc. I would be doing you a disservice if I did not see you for all that you are within the context of this world. It is possible to hold all of these pieces at once.

— Emily Graham, Therapist in Denver, CO

Feminist therapy is a radical response to traditional therapy, which was developed within the context of the patriarchy. It looks at individual experience, emotional and mental health as a response and reaction to sociopolitical oppression rather than a maladaptive choice.

— Pilar Dellano, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in San Francisco, CA

Feminist therapy explores the impact of how we form and maintain relationships, as well as impacting our sense of self and well-being. Cultural context means that all parts of your cultural identity, such as race, ethnicity, gender identity/expression, age, sexual/romantic orientation, religious orientation, and ability status are important in exploring your whole experience during the therapy process.

— Canh Tran, Associate Clinical Social Worker in Seattle, WA

I am a nerd when it comes to feminist theory and postmodern ideas. I can read about it until my books falls and hits me in the face because it's past my bedtime and I fell asleep. As a feminist therapist, I am more curious about how you define feminism and why those ideas are important to you. My ethical position is based in social justice and advocating for the marginalized against the patriarchy.

— Michelle Chong, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Los Angeles, CA

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

Feminist [and Multicultural] therapy assumes (1) that female-assigned and female-presenting experiences as well as other experiences marginalized by systemic oppression) are given the utmost value; and (2) that social change is necessary for lasting individual change. A feminist therapist will typically incorporate two components: they will question society’s unchallenged assumptions; and they will question their own assumptions.

— Gregory Kaplan, Clinical Trainee in Katy, TX

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

Feminist therapy focuses on how systems of oppression affect us and our mental health. It's not just for women! Men suffer under systems of oppression too. It's about empowering clients, reminding you of your goodness, helping you to be more vulnerable with yourself and others, and also helping you understand boundaries & finding safety in yourself and community. You can read more about it here: https://www.goodtherapy.org/learn-about-therapy/types/feminist-therapy#Feminist%20Therapy%20Framework

— Jennifer Creson, Counselor in Seattle,