Friday, March 13, 2015

Feminist Family Therapy

Foundations

■ Feminist movement Emerged in the late 1960’s continuing into the 1970’s.

■ Rachel Hare-Mustin o One of the first women to challenge the family-therapy establishment.
o 1978 wrote "A Feminist Approach to Family Therapy"

■ Feminism is a theory that focuses on the recognition of the inferior status of women and the reasons for that inequality.

■ The strategies used in this theory are intended to lead to the recognition and validation of inequality and what changes can be made to end it.

■ It acknowledges that gender roles and socialization affect
o each individual in the family system
o interpersonal relationships in the system
o relationships between the family and society
o the client and therapist exchange.

■ Originally family theories simply ignored sexual stereotyping in families.
o Complementarity
● systemic concept which suggests an temporary inequality between partners
● The inequality is complementary and serves to stabilize the relationship.
● Does not take into consideration that women are ultimately at a disadvantage living in a society which keeps the women in a disadvantaged position structured by:
o Neutrality
● A position recommended that encourages the therapists to maintain a position of neutrality with the couple or family.
● The goal is to have all members of the family feel sided with and not against.
● However the relationship is unequal to begin with so it is maintaining a position of inequality by siding equally
o Circularity
● Suggests that responsibility for interactional dyads is equal.
● For example, it would suggest that even in cases of domestic violence, she is equally responsible for the abuse as him.
● The therapist who remains neutral by means of silence in a clinical situation like this is encouraging the unequal distribution of power in the system.