Domestic Violence and Psychology: A Critical Perspective (Women and Psychology)


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Drawing on the work of scholars including Giddens, Foucault, Klein and Winnicott, and using interview and survey data to illustrate its arguments, Domestic Violence and Psychology develops a theoretical framework for examining the context, intentions and experiences in the lives of women in abusive relationships, the men who abuse and the children who suffer in the abusive family. Sign up to our newsletter today!

Paula Nicolson - Psychology's Feminist Voices

Click here for more details Telegraph bookshop. Description This book rethinks the way psychological knowledge of domestic violence has typically been constructed. Add to Basket. Psychology for Social Work Theory and Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. Published August 27th by Routledge first published January 1st More Details Women and Psychology.

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Domestic violence and psychology: a critical perspective

Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Dec 13, Biljana rated it liked it. The title explains pretty much everything. Kaitlin rated it liked it Jul 08, Kelsey Jandrey rated it really liked it Feb 26, Jo rated it really liked it Jul 28, In reality, men and women are equally effective in their styles of leadership.

Feminists argue that gender-based violence occurs frequently in the forms of domestic violence , sexual harassment , childhood sexual abuse , sexual assault , and rape. Violence towards women can be physical or psychological and is not limited by race, economic status, age, ethnicity, or location. Women can be abused by strangers but often the abuser is someone the woman knows. Violence can have both short- and long-term effects on women, and they react to the abuse in various ways.

Some women express emotions such as fear, anxiety, and anger. Others choose to deny it occurred and conceal their feelings. Often, women blame themselves for what happened and try to justify that they somehow deserved it. Among victims of violence, psychological disorders such as post traumatic stress disorder and depression are common. In addition to the psychological ramifications, many women also sustain physical injuries from the violence that require medical attention.


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Relational-cultural theory is based on the work of Jean Baker Miller , whose book Toward a New Psychology of Women proposes that "growth-fostering relationships are a central human necessity and that disconnections are the source of psychological problems. He complained that psychologists had no basis for assuming psychological processes to be universal and generalizing research findings to the rest of the global population.

Arnett , Altmaier and Hall , and Morgan-Consoli et al. Kurtis, Adams, Grabe, and Else-Quest coined the term transnational feminist psychology also called transnational psychology.

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In a Summit was organized by Machizawa, Collins, and Rice to further develop "transnational psychology. Feminist therapy is a type of therapy based on viewing individuals within their sociocultural context.


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  4. The main idea behind this therapy is that the psychological problems of women and minorities are often a symptom of larger problems in the social structure in which they live. There is a general agreement that women are more frequently diagnosed with internalizing disorders such as depression, anxiety , and eating disorders than men. While this is certainly a central component of feminist theory, feminist therapists are also sensitive to the impact of gender roles on individuals regardless of sex.

    What You Probably Don't Know About Domestic Violence and Abuse

    Goldman found the connection between psychoanalysis and feminism as the recognition of sexuality as preeminent in the makeup of women as well as men. Freud found that men's ideology was forced onto women in order to sexually repress them, connecting the public and private spheres for the subjugation of women Buhle, The goal of feminist therapy is the empowerment of the client. Generally, therapists avoid giving specific diagnoses or labels and instead focus on problems within the context of living in a sexist culture.

    Clients are sometimes trained to be more assertive and encouraged to understand their problems with the intent of changing or challenging their circumstances. Accordingly, the client-therapist relationship is meant to be as egalitarian as possible with both sides communicating on equal ground and sharing experiences. Feminist therapy is different than other types of therapy in that it goes beyond the idea that men and women should be treated equally in the therapeutic relationship.

    Feminist therapy incorporates political values to a greater extent than many other types of therapy. Also, feminist therapy encourages social change as well as personal change in order to improve the psychological state of the client and society. Many traditional therapies assume that women should follow sex-roles in order to be mentally healthy. This may be done unconsciously by the therapist — for example, they may encourage a female to be a nurse, when they would have encouraged a male client of the same abilities to be a doctor, but there is the risk that the goals and outcomes of therapy will be evaluated differently in accordance with the therapist's beliefs and values.

    Inequality between the sexes and restrictions on sex roles are perpetuated by evolutionary psychology, but we could understand the role of gender in scientific communities by using feminist research strategies and admitting to gender bias Fehr, Traditional therapies are based on the assumption that being male is the norm. Traditional therapies place little emphasis on sociopolitical influences, focusing instead on the client's internal functioning. This principle stems from the belief that psychological symptoms are caused by the environment.

    Feminist stance is largely marginalized and seen as standing outside of mainstream psychiatry, and there is the power-based distribution of knowledge, which gives therapists the ability to label women's disorders without knowing their lived experiences Sawicki, Feminist therapists consider power inequalities to be a major contributing factor to the struggles of women, and as such criticize the traditional therapist role as an authority figure. Feminist therapists believe interpersonal relationships should be based in equality, and view the client as the "expert" in their own experiences.

    The goal of feminist therapy is to re-value feminine characteristics and perspectives. Often, women are criticized for breaking gender norms while simultaneously being devalued for acting feminine. In order to break this double bind, therapists encourage women to value the female perspective and self-define themselves and their roles.

    From birth, women are taught which behaviors are appropriate, and face sanctions if they fail to conform. Before women can be free of these expectations, they need to gain an understanding of the social systems that molded and encouraged these gender stereotypes, and how this system impacted their mental health. First, women work to identify the gendered messages they've received, as well as the consequences. Power systems are organized groups that have legitimized status, that are sanctioned by custom or law, that have the power to set the standards for society.

    Types of power include the legal, physical, financial, and institutional ability to exert change. Often, men control direct power via concrete resources, while women are left to use indirect means and interpersonal resources.

    From the Antiviolence Movement to a Positive Feminism

    Traditionally, assertiveness is a masculine trait, so frequently women struggle with learning to stand up for their rights. The biggest feminist critique of cognitive-behavioral therapy is that the theory fails to focus on how behaviors are learned from society NetCE, Often, the focus is on encouraging women to change their "maladaptive" responses and conform to normative standards.

    Many psychoanalytic concepts are considered by feminist therapists to be sexist and culturally-bound NetCE, However, feminist psychoanalysis adapts many of the ideas of traditional psychotherapy, including the focus on early childhood experiences and the idea of transference. Specifically, therapists serve as a mother figure and help clients connect emotionally with others while maintaining an individuated sense of self NetCE, The main critique of family systems therapy is the endorsement of power imbalances and traditional gender roles.

    For example, family systems therapists often respond to men and women differently, for example placing more importance on the man's career or placing the responsibility for childcare and housework on the mother Braverman, Feminist therapists strive to make the discussion of gender roles explicit in therapy, as well as focusing on the needs of and empowering the woman in her relationship Braverman, Therapists help couples examine how gender role beliefs and power dynamics lead to conflict.

    The focus is on encouraging more egalitarian relationships and affirming the women's experiences NetCE, A feminist approach to dealing with rape or domestic abuse is focused on empowerment.

    Paula Nicolson

    Therapists help clients analyze societal messages about rape or domestic abuse that encourage a victim-blaming attitude, and try to help clients get past shame, guilt, and self-blame. Survivors often face negative reactions from others that lead to re-victimization when trying to seek help, so therapists can help the woman navigate the medical and legal services if she wishes.

    It is emphasized that any symptoms are in fact normal responses to the traumatic effect, and the women is not pathologized.

    Domestic Violence and Psychology: A Critical Perspective (Women and Psychology) Domestic Violence and Psychology: A Critical Perspective (Women and Psychology)
    Domestic Violence and Psychology: A Critical Perspective (Women and Psychology) Domestic Violence and Psychology: A Critical Perspective (Women and Psychology)
    Domestic Violence and Psychology: A Critical Perspective (Women and Psychology) Domestic Violence and Psychology: A Critical Perspective (Women and Psychology)
    Domestic Violence and Psychology: A Critical Perspective (Women and Psychology) Domestic Violence and Psychology: A Critical Perspective (Women and Psychology)
    Domestic Violence and Psychology: A Critical Perspective (Women and Psychology) Domestic Violence and Psychology: A Critical Perspective (Women and Psychology)
    Domestic Violence and Psychology: A Critical Perspective (Women and Psychology) Domestic Violence and Psychology: A Critical Perspective (Women and Psychology)
    Domestic Violence and Psychology: A Critical Perspective (Women and Psychology) Domestic Violence and Psychology: A Critical Perspective (Women and Psychology)

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