Classism and Feminist Therapy: Counting Costs makes therapists more aware of their own class biases which assists them in providing more effective treatment that is sensitive to women's backgrounds. By helping therapists face important issues when their profession intersects with the values and experiences of working-class women, Classism and Feminist Therapy challenges the lack of attention given to issues of class in psychotherapy and serves as a step toward open conversation about the topic.
Calling attention to the sociopolitical nature of therapy, contributors define some ways in which current therapeutic practices can become oppressive when class differences between client and therapist are ignored. In Classism and Feminist Therapy, therapists gain valuable insight about how class matters are played out in therapy. These insights are combined with guidelines as to how to engage in a less class-biased form of psychotherapy. To this end, contributors discuss:
- class-related biases and assumptions commonly held by therapists
- how to make psychotherapy more responsive to the needs of working-class and poor women
- the intersection of class, race, and gender and how this applies to therapy
- strengths and challenges for working-class, poor, and economically privileged women
- class and gender in a political and sociological context
- social-psychological dynamics of internalized classism and pathways to healing and self-recovery
This engaging book alerts therapists to the failures and inadequacies of current approaches to class as an issue in psychological theory and psychotherapy. It discusses how the issue of class has been overshadowed by the assumptions that individuals and society make about it: that people are the class they deserve to be; that class is correlated with how hard one works or how smart one is; and that class is primarily a matter of income or owned assets rather than of access (both psychologically and practically) to resources.
All therapists--psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, mental health counselors--of intermediate to advanced levels of knowledge and practice will find information in Classism and Feminist Therapy invaluable for confronting issues of class in their professional and personal interactions.