Feminist Therapy grew out of women’s rights movements of the 1960’s and 1970’s as a means of raising awareness of the effects of one’s sociocultural environment on their mental health. Feminist Therapy is effective for assisting those who have been marginalized by their social and political environments. It is a means of helping a patient identify how gender norms, oppression/discrimination, and stereotypes have influenced their own behavior and sense of themselves. With these factors identified, a patient can feel empowered to take more control over their actions and their immediate environment, and may even seek to implement greater change in their wider social context.
Feminist Therapy emphasizes an egalitarian relationship between therapist and patient as a means of empowering the patient. Feminist therapists are likely to use a variety of means of helping patients, including self-disclosure of their own journeys, assertiveness training, role-plays, discussions of wider social concerns, and building self-confidence. A person in Feminist Therapy can expect to learn to own, accept, and embrace aspects of themselves instead of devaluing aspects of themselves that culture has told them to. Feminist therapy is open to any individual regardless of gender and background, and may be particularly well suited for members of society who feel disenfranchised due to their gender, sexuality, ethnic background, ability, or economic status.