Feminist Therapy Over Time

Format: DVD [Closed Captioned]
Running Time: Approximately 300 minutes
Item #: 4310869
ISBN: 978-1-4338-0456-4
List Price: $399.00
Member/Affiliate Price: $299.00
Copyright: 2009
Availability: In Stock
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For individuals in the U.S. & U.S. territories

APA Psychotherapy Training Videos are intended solely for educational purposes for mental health professionals. Viewers are expected to treat confidential material found herein according to strict professional guidelines. Unauthorized viewing is prohibited.

In Feminist Therapy Over Time, Dr. Laura S. Brown demonstrates how this qualitative and phenomenological approach, which takes into account the meanings of gender and power in the client's social realities, empowers the client.

The goals of the therapy are determined collaboratively within the session, creating not just tailor-made therapy, but an egalitarian relationship conducive to client empowerment. This relationship, in which each person brings equally valued expertise to the process, is essential to the therapeutic goal of helping clients to feel more personal power in their lives.

Over the course of six sessions, Dr. Brown works with a 43-year-old woman who has three children and a history of substance abuse, poor relationship choices, and feeling unloved, unappreciated, and devalued. She also has struggled for years with her size and how she feels about her body. Although she is now in early recovery and feels more stable in her life, she suffers from critical self-talk and a habit of blaming herself for things for which she is not responsible, as well as difficulties in being able to take feedback about her own actions.

Dr. Brown talks with the client about developing self-empathy, learning to quiet the critical voice she hears, and recognizing that caring for herself is empowering. The client is invited to see that she has many of the inner resources that she needs for her recovery process, with a goal of reducing her reliance on the authority of others, including the therapist.


Feminist therapy is a technically integrative approach to treatment, based conceptually on feminist political analyses and feminist scholarship, that attends to dynamics of gender, power, and social realities and contexts in the lives, distress, and dysfunction of people seeking psychotherapy. Although on the surface the work of a feminist therapist may appear to differ little from that of other therapists, given the integrative application of interventions, the ways in which a feminist therapist understands and gives meaning to the client's life history and to what transpires in the therapeutic relationship can be very different indeed. It is this difference in meaning and concept that held by the therapist makes feminist therapy unique in its perspectives and valuable for both female and male clients.

Feminist therapists are centrally, although not solely, interested in the ways in which gender and gendered experiences inform people's understandings of their lives and the development of the distress that serves as a catalyst for seeking therapy. They are also interested in other factors—such as race, class, sexual orientation, age cohort, and ability—that interact with gender in the social matrix of power and dominance and base theory on multicultural data and paradigms.

Feminist therapy attends to the ways in which people have lost their power to know and name themselves and their experiences, and the ways in which social, cultural, and political processes interact with human development. It perceives therapy as a political action, in that it has meaning in the large social and political milieu.

Feminist therapy attempts to create an egalitarian therapy relationship in which, although the inequality of power between therapist and client is acknowledged, intentional efforts are made by the therapist to empower the client and to define her or him as an authority equal in value to the therapist. Clients are encouraged to discover the manner in which their authority in their lives has been taken from them and, using the therapeutic relationship as one model setting, begin to reclaim that authority and to speak in their own voice.

About the Therapist

Laura S. Brown, PhD, ABPP, is a clinical and forensic psychologist in private practice in Seattle. Her publications span the fields of feminist therapy theory and practice, ethics, multiculturalism, lesbian and gay issues, and trauma.

She is the winner of the 1995 American Psychological Association (APA) Award for Distinguished Professional Contributions to Public Service, and the Sarah Haley Award for Clinical Excellence from the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, as well as the Association for Women in Psychology's Distinguished Publication Award, and the Carolyn Wood Sherif Award of the Society for the Psychology of Women.

She is past-president of APA Division 35 (Society for the Psychology of Women) and 44 (Society for the Psychological Study of Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Issues), president-elect in 2009 of APA's Division 56 (Trauma Psychology), and the founder and director of the Fremont Community Therapy Project, a low-fee feminist therapy training clinic.

For more information about Dr. Brown, please visit her Web site.


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Suggested Readings
  • Ballou, M., & Brown, L. S. (Eds.). (2002). Rethinking mental health and disorder: Feminist perspectives. New York: Guilford.
  • Ballou, M., Hill, M., & West, C. (Eds.). (2008). Feminist therapy theory and practice. New York: Springer Publishing.
  • Brown, L. S. (1994). Subversive dialogues: Theory in feminist therapy. New York: Basic Books.
  • Brown, L. S. (2008). Cultural competence in trauma therapy: Beyond the flashback. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
  • Brown, L. S. (in press). Feminist therapy. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
  • Brown, L. S., & Root, M. P. P. (Eds.). (1990). Diversity and complexity in feminist therapy. New York: Haworth Press.
  • Comas-Diaz, L., & Greene, B. (Eds.). (1994). Women of color and mental health. New York: Guilford Press.
  • Enns, C. Z. (2004). Feminist theories and feminist psychotherapies: Origins, themes and variations. Binghampton, NY: Haworth Press.
  • Kaschak, E. (1992). Engendered lives. New York: Basic Books.
  • Worell, J., & Johnson, N. G. (Eds.). (1997). Shaping the future of feminist psychology. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
  • Worell, J., & Remer, P. (2003). Feminist perspectives in therapy: Empowering diverse women. New York: Wiley.

APA Videos

APA Books

Companion Products
  • Feminist Therapy

    This book explores the history, theory, and practice of this groundbreaking approach.