Gone are the days when psychotherapy was limited to the confines of a dank office, wherein someone, often in a position of social and economic privilege, (i.e. almost always an older white male), listened as we droned on about our mothers twice a week, passively taking clandestine notes.
Therapy has changed a lot since the days of Freud, and so have therapists and the clients they see. While the oppression of women is still very much alive, psychology has progressed enough that we can now laugh collectively at archaic theories like “penis envy,” and “hysteria.” The transformation of therapy is evidenced in any good clinical training program: counsellors and psychologists are expected to be proficient at understanding and how gender, race, social context, and economic status contribute to a person’s experience, expression of self, and/or mental health.
Although many therapists would like people, especially their clients, to believe they are unbiased — a perfectly clear reflective mirror — that is not the case. It’s not even possible. We all have an agenda — how aware we are of that bias contributes to our ability to be effective and ethical as therapists.
As such, I want you to know me — and all of my biases and agendas — up front.
My name is Hillary and I will be answering your questions each month, starting in February, as part of a column we’re calling, “Feminist Therapy.”
Read the full article here on The Feminist Current.