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.

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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 Seattle, WA

Identifying as female in our culture comes with so many landmines. Navigating relationships, work/life balance, parenting, misogyny, and so on. If you've clicked on this specialty, you know. I like to work from an feminist perspective to see how gender underlies other stressors. Feminism is intersectional, and if you identify as female (or on the feminine side of the spectrum) this space is for you.

— Jennie Hagen, Licensed Professional Counselor in Vancouver, WA

I'm a therapist committed to creating a nurturing, empowering space based on feminist values. I challenge power imbalances, champion equality, and empower individuals of all genders. In our journey, your voice is valued, your experiences are affirmed, and your unique perspective is celebrated. Together, we navigate identity, social justice, and personal growth, working towards your goals and a more equitable world.

— Yiran Sun, Licensed Mental Health Counselor in new york, NY

I approach counseling from a Relational-Cultural perspective which is a feminist lens that focuses on developing a positive relationship between you and me to help support the client making positive changes in their life. This growth-fostering relationship can be used as a model to improve all other relationships in the client's life. I will be striving to create a positive connection with you and I will be encouraging you to assess your past relationships and how they may impact you now.

— Carly Stevens, Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Seattle, WA

I promote an egalitarian relationship with my clients, acknowledging they are the experts of their lives. I work with all clients, regardless of gender or sexual identity, on identifying areas of their life they experience oppression, and how it impacts their overall wellbeing. One of my greatest joys as a counselor is witnessing individuals become empowered to make choices and take actions that promote wellbeing, regardless of whether those choices are congruent with societal norms.

— Mary Mills, Counselor in Seattle, WA

There is so much to understand about an issue or an event than the mere description we are sometimes forced to see. Most of us tend to feel guilty and believe that everything wrong is our responsibility. Feminist theory helps me to see the micro and macro perspective of the client, their intra-personal values, their family and community, and their multiple identities in the world. It is clear that some groups in our society have more challenges than others and this matters to therapy.

— Lais Alexander, Psychotherapist in Pittsburgh, PA

Having a feminist approach to therapy means I believe you to be the expert of your experience. It means I am affirming of marginalized identities, and am interested in building a relationship with you that has a balanced power dynamic. Having a feminist orientation to psychotherapy also means that I have done my own work around my intersectional identities as a white, cis-gendered, able-bodied, queer femme person.

— Mackenzie Studebaker, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist

Therapists in our practice believe in using a collaborative approach to therapy. While we have knowledge coming from our own education and experiences, you have expertise in your life. We work to create a collaborative environment where you are working on your goals based on what you need and want for yourself.

— Karen Rothstein Pineda, Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Oak Park, IL

Feminist therapy is mindful of the impact of relationships, both between individuals and also in social and cultural groups. Whereas other therapies tend to see the individual as the only agent determining outcomes in their own life, a feminist approach is mindful of the places where we may not have control.

— Cara Blouin, Licensed Professional Counselor in Philadelphia, PA

My therapy is always sensitive to issues of power, privilege, and oppression along many dimensions, not just gender. I approach feminism from an intersectional perspective, and am mindful of my own privileged identities as well. I take a collaborative, curious approach with all clients and recognize clients' expertise on their own lives.

— Sheila Addison, Counselor in Oakland, CA

What forms of gender expression feel safest, most comfortable, or fun for you? Which forms feel unsafe or unavailable to you? Gender-based expectations and norms impact people of all genders, and may be holding you back from being yourself and feeling empowered. We will explore the ways that your gender impacts your life, including your values and any limiting beliefs that you may be internalizing from your upbringing, environment, or culture about yourself or others.

— Maryann Bavisotto, Social Worker in Buffalo, NY

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

Feminist theory/therapy (in a nutshell) looks at systems of oppression and how it impacts our mental health and ability to function in society. This could be oppression based on traditional gender roles but also includes race and cultural discrimination, healthism, anti-fat bias, economic oppression, ageism, ableism, heteronormativity, and cis-normativity.

— Stephanie Boulton, Counselor in Boulder, CO

The other piece that I feel can be missed in humanistic theories are societal and systemic factors that can be outside of our control. Sometimes while we may wish to change our circumstances that may not be realistic according to our current society. Discrimination, low SES, sexual harassment and many other factors can have a severe impact on our mental health. Feminist Therapy addresses this and I view my role as a counselor beyond the therapy room to advocacy.

— Macie Roorda, Counselor in Hillsboro, MO

As a practitioner, I have been trained in and have written about Feminist Therapy. Specifically, my practice is rooted in trans-inclusive feminism, which also acknowledges the cultural and societal forces that marginalize the experiences of women, transgender/nonbinary people, LGB and Queer people, People of Color/BIPOC, and other groups. Feminist Therapy acknowledges that marginalized people cannot live absent of politics, because their lived experiences have been politicized or criminalized.

— Karalyn Violeta, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Brooklyn, NY

As a feminist therapist, I strive for therapy relationships that are as egalitarian as possible while still acknowledging power differences inherent in therapy. We will pay attention to your unique identity while working to understand how oppression you have experienced has affected your thoughts, feelings and ideas about yourself. Feminist therapy is for everyone -- people of any gender, race, sexual orientation, age, or religion.

— Cindy Blank-Edelman, Mental Health Counselor in Cambridge, MA

I am able to discuss and process systems of oppression that we all live in and how to change the systems. I will not discount your lived experience and will provide a safe space for you to tell your story.

— Caley Johnson, Associate Clinical Social Worker in Bellingham, WA