• Feminist counselors remind us that traditional gender stereotypes of women are still prevalent in cultures throughout the world. They teach their clients that uncritical acceptance of traditional roles can greatly restrict their range of freedom
FEMINIST THEORY • Feminist Theory: Relational-Cultural Theory • RCT elaborates on the vital role that relationships and connectedness with others play in the lives of women . • RCT theorists suggest that a woman’s sense of identity and self-concept develop in the context of relationships. • They describe a process of relational movement in which women move through connections, disconnections, and enhanced transformative relationships throughout their lives . • RCT counselors emphasize the qualities of authenticity and transparency that contribute to the flow of the relationship; being empathically present with the suffering of the client is at the core of treatment.
FEMINIST THEORY • Feminist Theory: Relational-Cultural Theory • RCT counselors aim to lessen the suffering caused by disconnection and isolation, increase clients’ capacity for relational resilience, develop mutual empathy and mutual empowerment, and foster social justice • RCT is not about helping people adjust to conditions; rather, this theory is about enhancing the client’s desire for connection and building networks and community. • RCT counselors emphasize mutual empathy and deep respect for the client, understand how disconnections affect the individual, and create a therapeutic relationship that is healing.
FEMINIST THEORY • Feminist Theory: Principles • The Personal Is Political. • This principle is based on the assumption that the personal or individual problems individuals bring to counseling originate in a political and social context. • For females this is often a context of marginalization, oppression, subordination, and stereotyping. • Acknowledgment of the political and societal impact on an individual’s life is perhaps the most fundamental tenet that lies at the core of feminist counseling
FEMINIST THEORY • Feminist Theory: Principles • Commitment to Social Change. • Feminist counseling aims not only for individual change but also for societal change. • A distinctive feature of feminist counseling is the assumption that direct action for social change is one of the responsibilities of counselor. • Counselors who work with women survivors of sexual violence also do social justice work to educate and transform the rape culture in which we live. • It is important for clients who engage in the counseling process to recognize how some of their social identities may grant them unearned privileges and advantages
FEMINIST THEORY • Feminist Theory: Principles • Women’s and Girls’ Voices and Ways of Knowing, Are Valued and their Experiences Are Honored. • Feminist counseling aims not only for individual change but also for societal change. • A distinctive feature of feminist counseling is the assumption that direct action for social change is one of the responsibilities of counselor.