Feminist Approaches to Counseling

Carolyn Zerbe Enns

in The Oxford Handbook of Counseling Psychology

Published in print November 2011 | ISBN: 9780195342314
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

 Feminist Approaches to Counseling

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This chapter summarizes central values and features of feminist counseling. It discusses feminist theories that support feminist counseling, characteristics of an egalitarian feminist therapy relationship, and the ways in which feminist counselors enact the maxim “the personal is political.” A biopsychosocial, ecological approach to assessment and conceptualization is proposed. The chapter articulates ways in which feminist counseling operates from a social justice perspective informed by locational, intersectional, and multicultural frameworks, as well as approaches that are attentive to the diverse gender and social identities of clients. Examples of feminist counseling as an integrative approach are provided. Future directions include building linkages across social justice approaches and practicing feminist values in a changing society, in counseling men, and in global contexts.

Keywords: the personal is political; social justice; feminist counseling; feminist theory; gender counseling; counseling relationship; egalitarian; multicultural; social identity; biopsychosocial; ecological; social identity

Article.  19985 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Counselling Psychology

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