Feminist therapy and EMDR: Theory meets practice



This chapter includes a review of certain core concepts of feminist therapy theory and an exploration of how EMDR can be integrated into feminist practice as a means of operationalizing that theory. Because feminist therapy is inherently technically eclectic, embracing interventions ranging from the psychodynamic to the most radically behavioral, the question to be addressed regarding EMDR as a feminist practice is whether its use in therapy supports feminist models of change. In feminist practice, that question is the boundary condition for inclusion of a strategy: Can its use promote feminist models and outcomes? Not every way of practicing therapy does this, and some strategies, particularly those that emphasize strategic approaches in which therapists intentionally use their power over the client, are per se problematic. However, EMDR seems to fall easily within the parameters of feminist practice and even in the hands of nonfeminist therapists advances the goals of feminist social and personal change that are at the core of feminist therapy models. In arguing that EMDR does support feminist strategies, this chapter explores the way feminist practice conceptualizes the notions of change and goodness of outcome. To some degree, these notions are very similar to those of nonfeminist therapies, and in other respects they are radically different.


Book Section




Laura S. Brown

Original Work Citation



“Feminist therapy and EMDR: Theory meets practice,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed November 26, 2020, https://emdria.omeka.net/items/show/17432.

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