Beyond the Rule Book

Learn to take a moral position as a feminist therapist!

Beyond the Rule Book: Moral Issues and Dilemmas in the Practice of Psychotherapy examines feminist therapy and its commitment to work against injustice and work for social and personal change by providing quality and unbiased services to clients. A dialogue is opened among feminist psychotherapists about the moral aspects of psychotherapy from the standpoint that psychotherapy, without a moral stance, is defined as demoralizing. You will discover psychotherapeutic situations that do not fit into any established ethical code, so that the code must be interpreted and a decision must be made giving your clients unprejudiced and effective service. Beyond the Rule Book will help every feminist therapist with the moral and ethical dilemmas that constantly arise in practice. You will explore the use of moral codes in feminist therapy and learn practical suggestions for therapeutic self-care to improve the quality of your sessions. In addition, these suggestions will teach you to model positive behavior in sessions and prevent burnout. Some of the areas of feminist therapy you will explore include:
  • lesbian feminism and deconstructing the lesbian feminist “rules” of sexuality and physical appearance
  • case examples of clinical situations where the therapist is able to use her moral stance to help low-income clients with homophobia and paternalism
  • case examples and creative interpretation of a biblical text to create a moral view for the feminist therapist
  • ways to morally and ethically work in a penal or other institutional system that may be racist and patriarchal, and may also be inherently antagonistic to the development of trust in the therapeutic relationship
  • questions about boundaries with clients with disabilities, being effective with this population, valuing the disability culture, and being aware of the differences between disability and impairment
  • the interface between personal and political agendas for the therapist and the client

    Beyond the Rule Book will show you how the issue of morality affects your services and how to make decisions beyond established ethical codes. You will explore and consider questions such as “What is the role of morality in psychotherapy?” and “What is the role of psychotherapy in a moral or an immoral society?” This well-written and informative book will assist you in choosing and applying a moral framework to your work as a feminist therapist, also giving clients effective and responsible services without any unfair and premature judgements.
Author: Ellyn Kaschak
Psychology Press, 25 Jan 1999 - 153 pages
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