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 believe that the counseling relationship should be equitable, not hierarchical. Intersectional feminism helps inform how one's marginalized and privileged identities have impacted one's mental health in the different systems we navigate.

— Eliza McBride, Licensed Professional Counselor Associate in Beaverton, OR

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 Reichert, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Vancouver, WA

While working on my Bachelor's in Social Work back in 2005 I discovered my passion & talent for helping women heal & gaining personal empowerment. Having struggled with Imposter Syndrome in the past, I understand how a patriarchal society impacts a woman's day to day life. My feminist approach focuses on helping client's gain their own sense of empowerment by helping connect them to their personal values.

— Malissa Page, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in SANTA MONICA, CA

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 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

Feminist theory/therapy (in a nutshell) is 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 but also includes race and cultural discrimination, fat bias, economic oppression, ageism, ableism, heteronormativity, and cis-normativity.

— Stephanie Boulton, Counselor in Longmont, CO

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

— Augustin Kendall, Counselor in Minneapolis, MN

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

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, Professional Counselor Associate in Portland, OR

Ask another Feminist therapist for their outline of what it is, and the answer better be different! This is a theoretical framework that allows choice, freedom, and empowerment. Principles of my feminist therapy include curiosity, respect, consent, worthiness, advocacy, and disrupting power dynamics. Emphasis on harm reduction and safety navigating the world. This framework brings sociocultural context into the room, and the ways we are impacted by our society’s pressures.

— Ginelle Krummey, Mental Health Counselor in Asheville, NC

Power dynamics within the therapeutic relationship as well as society at large matter. We cannot ignore the systemic and environmental contexts in which we all live. I respect and honor your expertise on yourself and your world. I am here as a guide to help you heal, not as an expert to "fix." Collaborative and empowering are my most authentic ways to work with others.

— Desiree Howell, Psychologist in St. Petersburg, FL

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

Forces of societal oppression affect all individuals of any gender background. I am passionate about helping people understand these forces and guiding them in choosing ways to respond in an empowered way. Feminism is a way to explore the way that you feel about yourself and the ways that this shows up in your life. Feminist therapy helps you to gain agency and power in your daily living and alter the ways in which you participate in systems of power that can be hurtful to you.

— Jennie Wang-Hall, Psychologist in San Marcos, CA

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 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

My core values are centered in feminist, anti-oppression ideals (the type of feminism that includes and honors women of color and trans folks). It means every day, I work with folks like you to unlearn socialization of gender, sexuality, and so many other qualities to find out who you really are, or at least who you want to be today. In therapy, we will talk about and examine how this impacts your relationships, sense of worth, and other ways of being in the world.

— Anna McDonald, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in San Francisco, CA

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

I believe that you are the expert of yourself; I'm here to support you and use my training and skills to assist you in uncovering the answers within. I use an Intersectional approach and recognize there are many factors and layers to your life. It is important to examine all aspects of our identity to fully understand and appreciate ourselves. I use an anti-racism lens and incorporate social justice, cultural humility, and inclusion.

— Shelby Dwyer, Counselor in Cambridge, MA