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EMPATHY, GENUINENESS—AND THE DYNAMICS OFPOWER: A FEMINIST RESPONDS TO ROGERSLAURA S. BROWNIndependent practice and Fremont Community Therapy ProjectSeattle, WAIn this article, I discuss the points ofconvergence and divergence betweenCarl Rogers’ core constructs for ther-apy (Rogers, 1957) and the theoriesand practices of feminist therapy(Brown, 1994, 2007). The value ofRogers’ insights about the importanceof the relationship in therapy is re-viewed, and the lacunae in his modelarising from an inattention to issues ofpower and politics is discussed.Keywords:feminist psychotherapy,power, Carl RogersIn 1957, I was a child of five, four years awayfrom figuring out that I wanted to be a psychol-ogist and 12 years away from first reading CarlRogers as an undergraduate psychology major.Thus, when I entered the world of psychology, Ientered a world already transformed by Rogers’work. It is difficult for me to imagine the land-scape of psychotherapy as it existed before thisdocument (Rogers, 1957), which I have long un-derstood to be central to the understanding of theprocess by which all psychotherapies are poten-tially effective. Rogers’ writing in this article canbest be described as revolutionary, given his timeand place. He moved the field of psychotherapyfrom a view of our clients as ill patients whorequired our expert ministrations to seeing themas whole persons in states of incongruence, pos-sessed of innate capacities for growth andchange. His view of the therapist’s role wasequally important to his subversion of psycho-therapy’s then-dominant psychoanalytic para-digm. The notion that a therapist not only could,but ought to, step out from behind the faux neu-trality of the psychoanalytic frame and be genu-inely present in the relationship is the basis for allof the work I have done as a writer, theoretician,and practitioner of psychotherapy. I am not alonein having been shaped by Rogers’ insights; themany generations of psychologists of my ac-quaintance who, like myself, began our doctoraleducation sitting in triad practices learning todemonstrate empathic active listening are hisinheritors.I had not realized until the last few years howstrongly I had been influenced by Rogers in myown work as a developer of feminist therapytheory because I went quickly in my own profes-sional development from reading Rogers to mov-ing away from humanistic psychologies into fem-inist practice. In 2002, when I was asked toredesign the basic skills course at the professionalschool where I then taught, which included therequirement that students demonstrate active lis-tening skills via a transcript and analysis of ataped session, I found myself reimmersed in theliterature of person-centered therapies for the firsttime in 30 years, including this important article.