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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I practice from an intersectional feminist lens, meaning that I take into account how all the parts of your identity (race, sexual orientation, size, faith, roles you occupy, etc.) impact your individual experience of being a woman, including your experiences of oppression. I consider you the expert on you, and me the expert on psychology, and together we partner to combine our expertise in the service of your goals. I seek to empower you to make your own best decisions according to your values.

— Linda Baggett, Psychologist in Manhattan Beach, CA

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
 

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

Feminist Family Therapy is my bread and butter approach. I've taught classes on Feminist Family Therapy because it's what I know and do best.

— Gabrielle Gebel, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in Chicago, IL
 

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 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
 

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 in Gresham, 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 SEATTLE, WA
 

Let's be honest, systems of oppression are to blame here. I love supporting my clients in healing from systemic racism, sexism, fat-phobia, ableism, and queerphobia. You may not have control over these systems, but you do have control over how you show up for yourself in this sometimes fucked up world.

— Dina Bdaiwi, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in Irvine, CA

This framework allows us to consider the ways that a patriarchal system affects the experiences of all us, regardless of gender, and especially those socialized as women. This includes examining toxic masculinity.

— Gianna Rico, Clinical Social Worker in Baltimore, MD
 

My therapy is feminist in nature because I am always looking through the lens of feminism and anti-oppression when working with clients. For my clients who strongly identify as feminist, having a feminist therapist means you're not starting from scratch in explaining your worldview. For people who are less focused on feminism, I can help you see angles to your situation that you might not have noticed.

— Ashley Hamm, Licensed Professional Counselor in Houston, TX

Feminist therapy is a set of related therapies arising from what proponents see as a disparity between the origin of most psychological theories and the majority of people seeking counseling being female. It focuses on societal, cultural, and political causes and solutions to issues faced in the counseling process.

— Monica Manuel, Licensed Professional Counselor in Atlanta, GA
 

We are all connected to one another other, and we strive to live a liberated life within hidden systems of inequity. Whether you consider yourself to be privileged or marginalized, the reality is we are all a part of oppressive structures we were born into, and this effects our ability to thrive. What can we do about this? Feminist therapy recognizes systems of power, and the harm they cause, centering transparency, empowerment, and the importance of the interpersonal as paths to freedom.

— Jackie Kosak, Art Therapist in Seattle, WA

A feminist approach to therapy enables an egalitarian relationship between therapist and client, where the client is the expert in the room and we collaborate on treatment. My research in graduate school was on a feminist approach to working with survivors of childhood sexual abuse. As a therapist, I sought out a feminist supervisor and strive to learn as much from her as I can.

— Mark Myran, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in Los Alamitos, CA
 

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

My path as a human has been formed by feminist theorists and writers. I particularly relished discovering the "Backlash" feminism of Faludi, as well as writings by Black feminists from Audre Lord to Sonya Renee Taylor. Joanna Bird is another therapist and writer who has influenced my work as a feminist counselor: addressing issues of power both in the therapy relationship and the wider world, and working from a position of mutuality.

— Kirsti Reeve, Licensed Professional Counselor in Ferndale, MI
 

As a feminist therapist, I understand how gender roles and societal expectations can influence our individuality and relationships with others. It can be hard to discern what is your own values and what ideas are prescribed from the outside world. I recognize that these issues affect all of us, regardless of our gender: male, female, non-binary, because we are all subject to loosing our authenticity when we have to perform expectations from others.

— Colleen Hennessy, Licensed Professional Counselor in , CA

I was trained the tradition of the Stone Center at Wellesley in what was then called Feminist Therapy, but is now called "Relational Cultural Therapy". This is a strengths based approach that honors not only the specific needs of women but also takes into account the ethnic and cultural backgrounds that shape our worldview. Healing happens in relationships with others, and therapy is a way to practice this.

— Jessica Foley, Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor in Waltham, MA
 

"Feminism is a movement to end sexism, sexist exploitation, and oppression"--(bell hooks). Feminist therapy is used as a lens to investigate and explore how society is built for white, cis-het (cisgender/heterosexual), assigned male at birth (AMAB) people and the subsequent ramifications and consequences for others who fall out of those parameters. Intersectionality, within feminism, looks at the way differing inequalities create intersecting discrimination and inequity.

— Leta Lawhead, Associate Clinical Social Worker in Bellingham, WA