The core of feminist therapy is rooted in the understanding that marginalized groups of people may suffer psychological oppression, and thus symptoms, as a result of the socio-political reality. Throughout history, women have experienced exclusion, repression, and masculine domination - that can still be seen in many forms today - and often leads to numerous gender-specific obstacles and stressors. Socio-political circumstances may have an effect on a person’s psychological well-being and could manifest themselves as emotional difficulties, complex trauma, reduced sense of security, decreased self-esteem, and a higher risk of mental health issues.
It is important to emphasise, in the spirit of current feminist thought, that these understandings do not apply to women only and various forms of oppression such as victimization, violence, and discrimination are relevant to other minority groups such as people of colour; lesbians, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and gender-variant individuals; people with disabilities or special needs; people coping with psychiatric disabilities; immigrants and many others.
In a world where the hegemonic way of living and thinking is dominated by white heterosexual men, being a marginalized group means less ability to express oneself, to speak; it incorporates a continuous struggle with stigmatic attitude that could be either explicit or implicit, institutionalized and very often internalized as self-stigma. In this scenery, constant traumatic experiences are immanent and are usually invisible to the dominant way of thinking. A therapy that is informed by this political perception recognizes the importance of cultural and social environment and thus strives for an exploration of the inner world as a construct, not only of our personal conflicts, aggressions, and desires but also of the socio-political marks that we all carry with us. As my experience has taught me, an analysis that is rooted in these feminist political philosophies could lead to the therapeutic transformations of finding our silenced voices and understanding our lives as part of a broader picture.