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Feminist Narrative Practice

Exploring Feminist Narrative Practice

Feminism is a collection of political movements, social movements, and ideologies aimed at establishing and defining the political, personal, social and economic equality of the different sexes. It takes the position that the male perspective is prioritised by society, leaving the women to face unjust treatment in society.

Feminists have spent years and a lot of effort to bring about a change in the situation. Some of their efforts include fighting gender stereotypes, establishing professional and educational opportunities for women equal to the opportunities that men have. Women are then able to achieve more outcomes.

Majorly, feminism had changed the notion that therapy is gender-neutral. However, feminism changed this notion by showing that there are gender-specific issues. To deal with these issues, an approach that is gender-geared is essential. 

It is now known that gender relations shape individuals and families’ experiences and influence therapy conversations. In Narrative Therapy, the therapist must employ methods directed and created to the gender of the patient to ensure that the issue is properly addressed.

Feminism also played a crucial role in raising questions that pertain to family therapy and the assumptions attached to it. The questions raised about family therapy particularly influenced the development of narrative therapy in New Zealand and Australia. Feminism pointed out how different theories had overlooked and failed to cater to gender issues. Feminists questioned the practices that had failed to consider the necessary factors.

Narrative therapy gives the woman the power to write her own story in a male-dominated world. The woman can write herself as whoever she wants, doing whatever she wants. This places her in a position of power, where society’s gender norms no longer decide her person and outcome.

This was the historical context in which narrative therapy was developed. A theory acknowledged and catered to gender issues, moving away from the gender-neutral stance to a stance that can adequately deal with those issues.

The woman-patient is directed to view the issues as an external factor. Understanding that it external to her helps her realise that it is changeable.

The woman-patient is prompted to break down the problem from its seemingly larger-than-life, massive form into smaller bits. This allows her to go to the very root of the issues confronting her and bring her one step closer to the solution.

The woman-patient is exposed to the notion that the world does not have an inherent meaning. Therefore, she can choose or create her life meaning.

The woman-patient can create different storylines portraying different outcomes. With a mind open to different possibilities, she can create the narrative that best suits her.

Narrative therapy is effective. A study was conducted to investigate the effectiveness of narrative therapy in groups on the psychological well-being of Iranian women who had addicts as husbands. The study results showed that the psychological well-being of the women who received the group counselling sessions improved significantly, and their psychological distress levels reduced. The improvement surpassed those who did not receive the narrative therapy.

Young feminist with a female sign in her hand
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