I consider myself a feminist counsellor mainly because of five core values and beliefs that I have that I think are crucial to the way I work.
If you agree with these notions, feminist counselling will be a perfect fit for you!
I believe all genders deserve equal rights.
To me, it is crystal clear that all genders (read: people) deserve equal rights politically, socially, economically, and personally. I understand that our lived reality is different, that people are far from equal in our current society, and that that difference results in discrimination and oppression of certain groups: women, the LGBTQ community, people of colour, substance users, fat people, and many, many more. In my work, I operate on the understanding that no one person is better or more deserving of support than another, and that we all strive to be happy and free to lead our lives as we please.
I believe that stepping into our power is key to recovery.
Oppression can take many forms, but in my experience, they all result in stress. This stress we feel then leads to unhelpful - or outright harmful - coping behaviours like substance use or disordered eating. Emancipation to me means moving towards a preferred future that is as aligned as possible with what we want, feel and are. I believe that as women and/or members of minority groups, we have an incredible wealth of resilience to draw upon in recovery.
I believe that recovery happens fastest in safe spaces.
Safe spaces to me are spaces that recognize Sizeism, Classism, Racism, Ableism, Healthism, Sexism and other forms of discrimination as real and hindering. While my professional approach is not problem focused, I believe that a keen awareness of hindering systemic forces is important to effectively support my clients. As a white, middle class woman with thin privilege, I have to acknowledge and understand that my experience of life comes with built-in advantages, like having greater access to power and resources than people of colour, economically disadvantaged populations or people living in larger bodies. I believe that being aware of my own privileges is the first step in bringing attention to injustice and being an effective ally.
I believe that sexual expression, and maybe liberation, is part of recovery.
Research shows that sexual expression, as long as it is consensual and safe, is healthy, and I support all types of sexual activity that bring people pleasure. When I say "sexual expression", I include asexuality, masturbation, polyamory, BDSM practices and sex education.
There are no taboo topics!
I have unconditional positive regard for my clients, which means that nothing they will say will make me like them less. True story! :)