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Feminist therapy invites us into a deep reflection on how the therapeutic relationship has historically been structured and upheld. A feminist therapist is sensitive to and foregrounds their understanding of power dynamics and differentials in order to cultivate the conditions for a more egalitarian therapeutic relationship. 


Since feminist therapists are often active in their community or within activist work, it is possible that you might experience some overlapping relationships at an FTN event, for example learning or working alongside a previous or current therapist or client.  Dual relationships are not uncommon within the collective commitments of feminist work but can require, and be enriched by, a deep inquiry into your relationship with the personal and political, individual and community, power over and power with, as examples.  We hope that, by drawing on a feminist ethical perspective you will be able to critically engage with more normative therapeutic discourses on notions such as ‘boundaries’ and ‘professionalism’ in order to consider any potential dual relationships, and your positionality within them, collaboratively, reflexively and with care.

The Feminist Therapy Institute Code of Ethics[1] directly addressed overlapping relationships within its ethical code, so we are including it here, if it is helpful.

[1] The Feminist Therapy Institute (FTI) was a North American organisation (US & Canada) founded in 1983 with the goal of supporting feminist therapists and advancing feminist therapy practice through education and training. It existed for 25 years. In 2009 the steering group took the decision for the FTI to become part of the Association for Women in Psychology (AWP), which as a sister organisation, shared similar aims. The AWP formed in 1969 meeting due to the American Psychological Association’s lack of response to the issues raised by the new women's liberation movement. There’s details of its herstory on their website.

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