I. Family Systems Theory:
- is a way of understanding present situations in terms of past relationships or family histories.
- understands the family as a single emotional unit made up of interlocking relationships existing over many generations.
- suggests that individual behavior throughout life is more closely related to the functioning in one’s original family than most people realize.
II. Feminist Therapeutic Approaches
From the sagepub.com website, a Feminist approach is defined: “In a world where the male sex dominates, feminist therapy realizes that a woman is affected by social pressures which reveal themselves through her identity. This unique form of therapy focuses on females in psychological distress. Feminist therapy emerged from the Feminist Movement of the 1960s. Feminist therapy is based on the belief that men and women are innately different and that psychological methodologies that were created by and for men may not be beneficial to women. A feminist therapist understands that many women perceive their environment through relationships and a sense of connectedness to those around them, whereas traditionally many men see things in the context of competition and power.”
“Feminist therapy examines the role of the relationship in a woman’s life and takes into consideration all the aspects of sexual bias in our male dominated society. It values each woman and her relative experiences as authentic and special.”
A goal of feminist therapy is to empower women to a higher level of functioning in today’s society.
“In the book Feminist Therapy, Laura S. Brown explores the history, theory, and practice of the groundbreaking approach to psychotherapy called feminist therapy. Feminist therapy not only listens to, but privileges, the voices and experiences of those who have been defined as “other” by dominant cultures. Feminist therapy thus shifts the value of knowledge claims from those of culturally appointed experts (white-men, anyone with a college degree) to the expertise of the oppressed. In the four decades since its inception as an approach, the theory has evolved significantly from psychotherapy for women, where it functioned primarily as a corrective against the sexist approaches of the era, into a sophisticated, postmodern, technically integrative model of practice that uses the analysis of gender, social location, and power as a primary strategy for comprehending human difficulties. Feminist therapy has become a practice that encompasses work with women, men, children, families, and larger systems.”
Excerpt taken from “Feminist Therapy: A Social and Individual Change Model,” see excellent chapter introducing the topic: www.sagepub.com/upm-data/37813_Chapter2.pdf
III. Article about Family Therapy
Journal of Theories and Methods of Family Intervention article “Current Trends and Practices in Family Therapy” by Dr. Cynthia Franklin: http://www.utexas.edu/courses/franklin/62670/Week1.html