The Feminist Theory

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The feminist theory is not just all about women, but it’s about the quality of life for people and races. The feminist theory also helps men and women understand the roles that they have been given by their social identities and experiences. The four practitioners that have the greatest impact on the feminist theory, all have an extensive background in working with the theory, making it what it is today. Some issues that can arise when using the feminist theory may be pushing your beliefs onto a client when they don’t believe in the same thing. Also, everyone has their own opinions on feminism so I believe there would be some controversies when discussing what’s going on. Women also have very strong opinions about what used to be the norm, compared to what it is today. Since this theory mainly applies to women, it can also be applied to men. It can help the men see their own male privileges and help them understand some of the cultural and gender stereotypes. “The feminist theory helps clients work through their issues. Feminists share common ground with Adlerian therapists who emphasize on social equality and social interest, and with existential therapists who emphasize therapy as a shared journey, one that is life changing for both the client and therapist” (Corey, 2009). Applying the feminist theory for most women would be easy because most women want to be looked as an equal and be seen for their efforts and achievements that they have made.

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There are four key practitioners for the feminist theory. First, there is Jean Baker Miller. She made contributions to the feminist theory including the issues of diversity, social actions and the change in the workplaces. In her book “Toward a New Psychology of Women” she talked about transforming women’s lives by showing them how and why to have confidence in their own ways. She also talked about how most girls and would shouldn’t blame themselves by changing the way they think. Instead of staying “I am the problem” change it too “am I the problem”. It can give these women a chance to think what’s actually going on. It can change the way they think about certain situations. The second practitioner is Carolyn Zerbe Enns. She focused her on her practices of multicultural feminist theory, exploring it all around the world. The third practitioner is Olivia M. Espin. She is considered a “pioneer in the theory and practice of feminist therapy with women from different cultural backgrounds” (book). She has also done research, teaching, and training about multicultural issues in psychology. The final practitioner is Laura S Brown. She is the founding member of the feminist theory. She has written many books about the core of feminism. She mainly focuses her energy on ethics and boundaries. Each of these four practitioners has made a great impact on the feminist theory, as well as feminism as a whole.

The feminist model is a little bit different from other models due to the fact that this is based on gender, social, cultural and political aspects that deal directly towards the client. This model deals a lot with the sociocultural status of women and how it has affected them. For example, a client may have issues because they are women and they were treated differently and looked at differently because of their gender. Unlike other theories, whereas not only men but white men are the main founders, this theory is founded by women. Women with a master’s level. According to the book, the feminist model also shared similarities such as promotes such things as social, political and environmental changes as multicultural and social just theory.

This theory will work well for any population. There are different ways that the feminist theory will help different people, such as men, women, couples and different cultural groups. There are many ways this theory can be applied to men and couples. If there are issues at home with a significant other, this theory can be used to help the couple realize that it’s not about who has the power in the house, it can help them realize that there is no leader. When a relationship deals with a man and women, men usually think they are in charge while the women are under them. Usually, men are raised like that from their parents because of how their parents were raised and so forth. As times are changing, that is not the case anymore. This theory can help the men see that its okay to show feelings other than just being happy or angry. It can also help them realize that its okay feel the feelings that they are feeling. We are all humans with feelings. This theory can also be beneficial to those men and women who are raised from a culture where the woman stays at home, cooks and cleans the house, while the men go to work and are the main providers. It can help them see that is not the case today in America. Times are changing, where women are becoming to look equal with men. It can also help women see her values to her family and society. Women will benefit from the feminist theory in many ways.

The feminist theory has made notice of the issues women may run more often into than men, as well as those issues that are bringing attention to the public. The issues that women may run into is pushing the feminist values on people in particular cultures. This can result in angry women. When working with a client the therapist has to see what kind of ethnic background the client lives in. This theory is not made to change anyone’s personal view or change anyone completely. Its there to help people realize their worth in this world. It allows people, especially women have a voice in something they couldn’t. Its made to be a tool and to show them that its okay to show worth, but if someone doesn’t believe in feminism then the therapist shouldn’t push it on them. Everyone has their own values and beliefs.

Just like every theory, there are pros and cons. The pros for the feminist theory is making cultures equal for all genders, having social justice, as well as give women a voice. Couples that go to feminist therapy, they can learn ways to power share. For a woman, this can help her learn that she is a powerful person, as well as the men. Feminist practitioners view gender as just one identity. They value a person’s identities that shape their concerns and preferences. The cons about this theory are that feminist therapists advocate for a change and they advocate for people to be viewed all the same if the client doesn’t agree with the society, then they can run into some problems. The therapists need to focus on the client’s beliefs and values and go off of that, rather than trying to change their beliefs and values.

What has attracted me to this model was how it gave women a voice. My parents have been raised to follow the typical male and female gender roles and I was raised the same. I really like how this model showed men that its okay to show feeling and its okay for women to stand up for what they want. My dad rarely ever shows feelings; he just shows his feelings when he’s angry or happy. As times are changing, my whole perspective changes as well. I was raised to follow the female roles, but since I now live in a place where that’s not the case anymore, I enjoy doing the things men used to only be able to do. I enjoy going to work and I enjoy seeing my boyfriend cook for me. Even though my parents don’t understand why it’s changing, they are pursuing me to finish school and find my passion in the working field. With doing more research on this model, it gave me more knowledge about what this feminist theory was all about.

I would apply this model, in the same way, I would apply any other model. I would evaluate the client first and see what technique would work best. If I believe this works best for them then I would teach the client ways for them to see that we are all equal. Not only gender but with religion and race. I would tell them that there is nothing that is better than the others. I would teach them to value their own life and if they believe they want something more with it, them for them to do it. Gender, race or religion shouldn’t be stopping them. I feel like I would be a very motivating therapist if a client was stuck in what to do next with their life. My whole perspective in helping people is help them in a way where they really need it. I really would want my client to see their worth and strengths themselves. 

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