A scholarly article on the relationship between therapy and the idea that “the personal is political.” The author argues that the typical therapy format can unintentionally support larger systems of oppression by focusing on personal “acceptance” or “empowerment” at the expense of political power and societal change.
“This article explores the way in which the slogan, ‘the personal is political’ is used within feminist psychological writing, with particular reference to therapy. The growth in feminist therapies (including self-help books, co-counselling, twelve-step groups, and so on, as well as one-to-one therapy) has been rapid, and has attracted criticism from many feminists concerned about their political implications (Cardea: 1985; Hoagland: 1988; Tallen: 1990a and b; Perkins: 1991). However, many feminist psychologists (both researchers and practitioners) state explicitly their belief that ‘the personal is political.'”