As a woman, I have been interested in connecting with other women ever since my young adult years. My earliest experiences with feeling the energy of other women and being supported by them occurred when I was first pregnant and giving birth. I lived in a community where women’s groups were arising and a feminist perspective was strong. There was also a clear leaning toward health and wellness with all sorts of opportunities in terms of diet and exercise and ritual. Once I began my studies for my counseling license I realized I was interested in a feminist perspective in therapeutic methods as well. I studied and wrote about feminist theory, specifically in relation to Bowen Family Systems Theory. This became the lens for my future clinical practice. Initially I worked with children and families. I was able to remain grounded in a way that empowered women and mothers as well as supported the family system. By recognizing roles and relationship conflict I could enhance awareness of the transfer of anxiety within the system, thus allowing a paricular member of the family system to be a better individual within the system.
All of that may seem complicated and theoretical, and it is, but the point is there is a foundation from which I begin when meeting with women. When I offered therapy services in a domestic violence shelter for women in abusive relationships, this foundation provided a sense of trust that was received on an emotional/feeling level whether or not the theoretical information was provided to a particular individual. Over the years, this willingness to meet women exactly where they are, with whatever they are facing is one of the core principles of my therapeutic approach. No judgement is ever made toward one’s circumstances or how one has arrived in any situation. Currently, my understanding has grown to embrace not only a feminist perspective but a more wholistic perspective of not judging others at all and yet being able to guide choices for becoming the best person one can be.