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Feminist therapy is a broad category of intervention approaches that apply feminist philosophies to psychotherapeutic action. Unlike other theoretically based approaches to psychological treatment, feminist therapies first emerged in direct response to social experiences of bias and discrimination and related social and political movements. Broadly, feminist therapies aim to address individual suffering and symptoms in the context of larger social justice aims.

Historical Context and Early Aims

Early feminist therapies were seen as being for women clients, conducted by women therapists, and focusing on sexism and other (ostensibly) women’s issues. This approach is understood to have emerged as a grassroots clinical response to the late-20th-century women’s movement in North America. Scholars suggest that it was exposure to the U.S. civil rights movements of the mid-1900s that ...

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