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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 18 (1976) 1, 191 - 202

Korte bijdrage

Een feministische benadering van counseling: ervaringen uit de Verenigde Staten

T. van Rooijen-Smoor

In this paper some historical and theoretical aspects of feminist counseling are described. Historically feminist counseling is an outgrowth of what is developing in consciousness-raising groups. This type of counseling stresses women to modify themselves in order to become independent and to realize themselves. Women's behavior is not conditioned by an inner force but by outside forces as well. Theory building and methods are in a developmental stage and are oriented towards humanistic, Gestalt and operant approaches. The feminist goals a counselor gears herself towards are selfacceptance, assertion, autonomy, interpersonal relationships, selfrealization, sexual roles and sexuality (stereotypes in relating to opposite sex). In the second part of the article the author in her former capacity as counselor at the Center for Continuing Education of Women at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan presents an application of feminist counseling with a group of young-married mothers. The program demonstrates how women in their twenties with pre-schoolers and without partners assemble during six weekly meetings and two followup meetings. These young mothers typically, feel guilty and are isolated, depressed, rejected, ignorant and confronted with an endless list of problems (financial, housing, childcare, medical, transportation etc.). Preliminary findings show that these women were generally depressed and mostly had been in psychotherapy, changed their lifes by making decisions and breaking through their isolation.