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using male-oriented constructs to draw conclusions about human, including female, nature.


Assumes that personality patterns & behavior are fixed at an early stage of dev.

Egalitarian relantionship

Power should be balanced in a relationship. In feminist therapy the voices of the oppressed are acknowledged as authoritative & valuable sources of knowledge.


the idea that one's own cultural group is superior to others & that other groups should be judged based on one's own standards.

Flexible-Multicultural Perspective

Uses concepts & strategies that apply equally to individuals and groups regardless of age, race, culture, gender, ability, class or sexual orientation.


believing that there are 2 separate paths of dev. for women and men

Gender-fair approaches

explain differences in the behavior of women & men in terms of socialization processes rather than on the basis of our "innate" natures, thus avoiding stereotypes in social roles & interpersonal behavior.

Gender-Neutral Theory

explains differences in the behavior of women and men in terms of socialization processes rather than viewing gender differences as fixed in nature.

Gender-role analysis

used to help clients understand the impact of gender-role expectations in their lives.

Gender-role intervention

provides clients with insight into the ways social issues affect their problems.

Gender Schema

An organized set of mental associations people use to interpret their perceptions about gender.

Global/international feminism

this approach takes a worldwide perspective and seeks to understand the ways in which racism, sexism, economics and classism affect women in different countries.


views a Heterosexual orientation as normative & desirable & devalues same-sex relationships.


concepts specific to the thinking, feeling, and behaving dimensions of human experience that account for contextual and environmental factors.

Intrapsychic Orientation

attributing behavior to internal causes, which often results in blaming the victim and ignoring sociocultural and political factors.

Life-span perspective

assumes that human dev. is a lifelong process & that personality patterns & behavioral changes can occur at any time.

Personal is political

Individuals' personal problems have social & political causes. Therapy is aimed at helping clients change their own behavior and become active participants in transforming society.

Power analysis

Emphasis is on the power difference between men and women in society. clients are helped to recognize different kinds of power they possess and how they and others exercise power.


A technique whereby the counselor changes the frame of reference for looking at an individual's behavior. There is a shift from an interpersonal (or "blaming the victim") stance to a consideration of social factors in the environment that contribute to a client's problem.


An intervention that changes the label or evaluation applied to the client's behavioral characteristics. Generally, the focus is shifted from a negative to a positive evaluation.

relational-cultural theory

A perspective suggesting that a woman's sense of identity and self-concept develop in the context of relationships.


The idea that a woman's sense of self depends largely on how she connects with others.

Social Action

Participating in some activity outside of the therapy office (such as some kind of volunteer work in the community) that is likely to empower clients by helping them see the link between their personal experiences and the social context in which they live.

White privilege

An invisible package of unearned assets white people enjoy that are not extended to people of color.

women of color feminism

This perspective challenges feminist theory to become more inclusive by addressing multiple oppressions, taking into consideration privilege and power, and emphasizing activism.

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