Gender Aware Therapy

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    • 00:03

      DR. CYNDI MATTHEWS: Hi, my name is Dr. Cyndi Matthews.[Dr. Cyndi Matthews, LPC-S, NCC University of NorthTexas at Dallas] And I'm here to talk to you todayabout gender aware therapy.Gender aware therapy was developedby Glenn Good, Lucia Gilbert, and Murray Scher in 1990.This type of therapy is also knownas gender sensitive therapy.It originated from feminist therapy.

    • 00:23

      DR. CYNDI MATTHEWS [continued]: And feminist therapy takes into account women's issuesand problems from a social perspectiveand a social context.It was created to expand the concept of feminist therapyto include men, women, couples, and families.Now, before we get started talkingabout gender aware therapy, it's necessary to talk

    • 00:44

      DR. CYNDI MATTHEWS [continued]: about the difference between gender and biological sex.Gender is defined as the psychological and socioculturalconstructs concerning masculinity and femininity thatcan change over time, and also over culture.Biological sex differs from gender,in that it's based on physiological characteristics

    • 01:07

      DR. CYNDI MATTHEWS [continued]: instead of psychological characteristics of malesand females.And this is determined by hormones, chromosomes,genitalia, and internal organs.When we're talking about gender aware therapy,we're talking about social constructs,and psychological constructs.Gender aware therapy integrates non-sexist theories

    • 01:30

      DR. CYNDI MATTHEWS [continued]: for both men and women, and examines the social constructsand the context of both men and women.Multicultural perspectives can alsobe taken into account at the same timewhen exploring the client.The goal of gender aware therapy isto assist counselors and clients with creating and living

    • 01:51

      DR. CYNDI MATTHEWS [continued]: in non-oppressive environments free from gender stereotypesand prejudices.Now from a historical perspective,in 1975 the American Psychological Associationdetermined that psychotherapy was biased against women.They found that traditional therapies were

    • 02:12

      DR. CYNDI MATTHEWS [continued]: found to subjugate women and that the techniquesand theories promoted traditional sex rolesand also devalued women.The task force also determined that counselingwas analogous to the social order of men, or the counselor,subjugating women as clients with men determining

    • 02:33

      DR. CYNDI MATTHEWS [continued]: what women need.Gender aware therapy realized that male gender stereotypesmay also psychologically damage men.So gender aware therapy, or GAT, wasintended to synthesize the principles of feminist theorywith gender theory to equally represent both men and women.

    • 02:54

      DR. CYNDI MATTHEWS [continued]: There's five major theoretical underpinnings.Number one-- gender is central to counselingand the counseling relationship.Gender roles, socialization, and messagesto both males and females need to be taken into account.Number two-- issues need to be consideredwithin their sociopolitical context.

    • 03:16

      DR. CYNDI MATTHEWS [continued]: The personal is political.Number three-- gender inequity occur for both men and women.Stereotypes and implications needto be explored for both men and women.Number four-- egalitarian relationshipsneed to happen between the counselor and the client.Number five-- counselors need to have

    • 03:38

      DR. CYNDI MATTHEWS [continued]: respect for their client's abilitiesto be able to make their own choices.When we talk about women in particular,if a counselor were to see a clientwe need to figure out the socialization of women.Women have been judged traditionallyon male counseling models that emphasize achievement,

    • 03:59

      DR. CYNDI MATTHEWS [continued]: individualism, and cognitive problem solving.But in contrast, women have been socializedto emphasize collaborative interpersonal relationshipsbeing intuitive and having holistic problem solvingmethods.So how they've been socialized, then they'regoing to be judged by counselors and psychologistsas being less than.

    • 04:20

      DR. CYNDI MATTHEWS [continued]: Women have also been socialized to suppress anger,to please others, to become caretakers, and takethe blame for situations.And this type of situation, or this type of socialization,can increase anger and even depression.So when you're working with women through GAT,GAT therapists can explore with women taking into account

    • 04:43

      DR. CYNDI MATTHEWS [continued]: the social, the cultural, and the biological issues of women.They can explore roles of being a wife, a mother, a worker,a community member, a family member, whatthat means for the woman.They can talk about career development,balancing work and family, and finding mentorsand support for the woman.Body issues relating to eating disorders and body image

    • 05:07

      DR. CYNDI MATTHEWS [continued]: distortions can also be discussed.Issues regarding sex in society can alsobe discussed, especially when there's alwaysdouble standards for women-- well,most of the time-- when it comes to sex,and the role in the relationship that sex plays.Sexual trauma such as rape, sexual harassment,

    • 05:29

      DR. CYNDI MATTHEWS [continued]: and sexual abuse can also be discussed.Gender-encoded messages sent to women-- them being too strong,that they need to submit, that they're notsupposed to question, or that they have to be sexy,or they're not allowed to be too smart-- those kind of messagescan also be explored with the women.Physical changes that mark a woman's life

    • 05:50

      DR. CYNDI MATTHEWS [continued]: such as menstruation, pregnancy, and menopausecan also be discussed not only through the hormonal changesthat occur, but also the likelihood of some depressionthat may occur.Utilizing GAT with men, men can exploretraditional and stereotypical roles and attitudes

    • 06:10

      DR. CYNDI MATTHEWS [continued]: that they've been socialized with,such as being independent, autonomous, invulnerable,and blocked from their emotions.Men often play out different scriptsthat are prescribed to them such as the tough guy script,being aggressive and fearless, the violent script whichencourages violence and aggression through sportsand fighting, the playboy script where

    • 06:33

      DR. CYNDI MATTHEWS [continued]: sex is seen as gratification of physical needsand not about intimacy, the homophobic script wherean intimate connection with men must be avoided,or the winner script that men haveto be overly competitive and successful-- becomingvery overly authoritarian and aggressive in relationshipsas a result.Also the independent script, that men must not

    • 06:54

      DR. CYNDI MATTHEWS [continued]: attach to others, or they'll be seen as weak.Scripts can cause conflicts between work and familyand in relationships.Each script can be explored by counselors and clients.And they can be challenged, and possibly changed,looking at the positive and negatives of each script.With couples and families, each of these scripts

    • 07:16

      DR. CYNDI MATTHEWS [continued]: of each partner can be explored and lookedat in terms of the relationship, such as household chores, childcare, not belonging to one gender,but things that need to be done and that the couple hasagreed upon together.Intimacy communication patterns can alsobe explored, and sexual intimacy as well.

    • 07:37

      DR. CYNDI MATTHEWS [continued]: The techniques of GAT include the counselor being awareof gender scripts and their own gender socialization,being able to confront themselveswith their own issues, and also look at their client's issues.Exploring the problems in gender and social contextby educating their client's, perhaps using a gendergram,

    • 07:59

      DR. CYNDI MATTHEWS [continued]: which is like a genogram except looking at the gender rolesthat each person may have played in their familyand where they got their messages from.Of course, education and explorationof alternatives and consequences can alsobe helpful, such as bibliotherapy, modeling,working some things out, discussing with the counselor,

    • 08:20

      DR. CYNDI MATTHEWS [continued]: always helping move the process forward.Termination is a great part of GAT.Because it helps the men realize vulnerabilityof saying goodbyes is OK.And for the women, it can encourage self-reliance.Therapeutic process, of course, includes the egalitarian natureof the counseling relationship, respect

    • 08:41

      DR. CYNDI MATTHEWS [continued]: for the choices of the clients, advocatingfor change in society, understanding everythingin a social context, and understandingtraditional gender roles, and focusing on strengthsof both men and women.And not feeling like just because theymay do something traditionally female, thatdoesn't necessarily have to be a bad thing.

    • 09:01

      DR. CYNDI MATTHEWS [continued]: It encourages a wider range of behaviors, thoughts,and feelings for both men and women.Thank you very much.

Gender Aware Therapy

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Abstract

Gender aware, or gender sensitive, therapy (GAT) was developed by Glenn Good, Lucia Gilbert and Murray Scher in 1990. Created to expand the concept of feminist therapy to include men, women, couples and families, this therapy aims to keep a contextual and social perspective in support of the client.

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Gender Aware Therapy

Gender aware, or gender sensitive, therapy (GAT) was developed by Glenn Good, Lucia Gilbert and Murray Scher in 1990. Created to expand the concept of feminist therapy to include men, women, couples and families, this therapy aims to keep a contextual and social perspective in support of the client.

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