Critical theory refers to a diverse family of theories focused on improving the human condition through the exploration of asymmetrical power distributions and the social construction of human behaviors, emotions, and interactions that undergird oppression in society. Critical theory is particularly relevant to marriage, family, and couples counseling due to the impact of societal context on individual identity, family relationships, and the intersection of the individual and family developmental trajectory with societal and contextual stressors. In order to operate from a transformational, critical theory framework for practice, counselors must have an understanding of the historical development of critical theory and its subtheories, the philosophies that undergird the theory, the research methods that support professional scholarship, and how the family of theories is utilized in clinical ...

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