Feminist Therapy

Feminist Therapy involves the integration of feminist philosophy and principles into the therapeutic process. Gender, the way gender experiences influence people’s lives, and how these factors relate to the individual’s current distress are of central interest. Therapists come from a wide range of approaches and professional backgrounds, but what is common to all is that the therapeutic relationship is egalitarian in nature (the client and therapist operate as equals). The focus is on enhancement of personal strengths rather than on remediation of weaknesses. A primary goal of feminist therapy is to help those who lack access to their personal power due to sociopolitical pressures to find their inner voice. Learning how to express oneself assertively, make better choices, be proactive, and take responsibility for one’s life are involved.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is similar to feminist therapy in that the therapeutic relationship is collaborative, and goals for therapy are mutually agreed upon. The process is interactive, and therapists provide guidance as indicated. The difference between these two approaches is that CBT does not place the same emphasis on gender and gender experiences to inform treatment, and CBT is more unified and defined in methods.

Cognitive therapy is goal-oriented and solution-focused, and the main emphasis is on identifying and correcting problems in thoughts, beliefs, assumptions and behaviors. In CBT, the goal is for a person to develop more realistic and rational perspectives, and make healthier behavioral choices, as well as to feel relief from negative emotional states. Specific techniques, strategies and methods are used to help people to improve their mood, relationships and work performance. CBT has been demonstrated by many research studies to be the most effective approach for a variety of psychological problems.

Schema Therapy is similar to cognitive therapy in that the focus is on correcting problems in a person’s habitual patterns of thinking and feeling, and corresponding difficulties in his or her behavioral coping style. The focus is on identifying and understanding, and then challenging and overcoming the long-standing maladaptive patterns in thinking, feeling and behavior that create obstacles for a person in getting needs met and attaining life goals. As with standard CBT, the goal is for the person to feel better and enjoy greater life satisfaction.

CTA is a network of experienced therapists in the NY metro area who provide Cognitive Therapy and Schema-Focused Therapy. To inquire about an appointment, please call us at 212-258-2577.

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