Publisher description for Women in context : toward a feminist reconstruction of psychotherapy / edited by Marsha Pravder Mirkin ; forword [sic] by Monica McGoldrick.

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Challenging some of our most deeply held assumptions about mental health care, Women in Context explores the ways psychotherapy services for women are influenced by the larger therapy system and the sociopolitical context in which we live. The volume provides a comprehensive and insightful examination of factors that affect women's mental health, demonstrates the inadequacy of traditional psychotherapeutic assumptions, and offers new approaches for addressing women's experiences.
Drawn from the work of noted therapists from both individual and family disciplines, the book begins with an overview of the themes that define its scope, namely, women within the larger context of the service delivery system, and the weaving together of gender, race, class, and sexual life style. The second section examines psychotherapy given a sociopolitical understanding of women's life cycle issues. Chapters discuss the influence of societal norms and stereotypes on the ways girls experience adolescence, as well as on marginalized and silenced women including lesbians, single heterosexuals, bisexual women, stepmothers, and older women.
Enlightening chapters on women's medical concerns show that many women enter therapy in response to the dual-edged emotional consequences of dealing with illness and with the health care system itself. The book discusses psychotherapeutic approaches to women's health concerns, the pathologizing of normal female life cycle events, and the personal and familial impact of some feared illnesses. Chapters also examine whether new reproductive technologies are truly in the service of women, ways to break the silence surrounding the spread of AIDS among women, and reasons for the lack of research on menopause.
The final section of the book illuminates the impact of governmental policies and of deeply imbued belief systems on women's mental health concerns. Violence, poverty, homelessness, teenage pregnancy, and women in the workplace are among the issues explored from a societal perspective. Here, chapters illustrate the application of ideas presented in the text by offering therapeutic insights and describing established programs that are dealing with some of these problems. Difficulties women encounter in the workplace and in traditionally male-dominated institutions are also covered. Concluding with a probing look at one therapist's work with a female client, the book lays the groundwork for the creation of a new model of psychotherapy--a model that will be more compatible with the actual experiences of women's lives.
Written in a straightforward, personal style and eschewing technical jargon, this major new work is enlightening reading for all mental health professionals who work with women. Adroitly addressing a range of timely and critical topics, the book will be valued by those who specialize in women's studies and students from a broad range of academic disciplines.

Library of Congress subject headings for this publication: Feminist therapy, Women Mental health, Women Medical care Social aspects, Women Social conditions