Battered and nonbattered women's preferences for and expectations about liberal feminist, radical feminist, and cognitive therapy
Jalbert, Lize Rachelle
Master of Arts
DisciplinePsychology : Clinical
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Prior research has suggested that feminist therapy is an effective form of counseling for battered women (BW). To date however, virtually no studies have considered the importance of the client's expectations of, or preferences for feminist therapy over other types of therapy. In the present study, 20 battered and 20 nonbattered women (NBW) each read transcripts of three different types of therapy: nonsexist cognitive (CT), liberal feminist (LFT), and radical feminist (RFT). The order of presentation was counterbalanced. The women were measured on general therapy preferences for: Counselor Attitudes and Behaviors (P-CAB), Counselor Characteristics (P-CC), Counseling Process and Outcome (P-CPO). In addition, their expectations about each of the three therapists were measured on the following scales: Counselor Attitudes and Behaviors (E-CAB), Counselor Characteristics (E-CC), and Counseling Process and Outcome (E-CPO), Perceived Helpfulness (PH) of the therapist, and Willingness to See (WS) the therapist. Results indicated that BW and NBW did not differ significantly on any of these scales. However, both BW and NBW expected the RFT to show significantly more of the counselor attitudes and behaviors (i.e., acceptance, confrontation, directiveness, empathy, genuineness, nurturance, and self-disclosure) presented than the CT. In contrast, they expected the CT to possess more of the counselor characteristics (i.e., attractiveness, expertise, tolerance, and trustworthiness) than the RFT. Finally, they expected a more positive counseling process and outcome (i.e.. concreteness, immediacy, and outcome) with the CT than with the RFT. Expectations about the LFT did not differ significantly from either expectations about the CT or the RFT on these scales. All three therapists were perceived as equally helpful, and the women were equally willing to see each of them. However, the majority (66%) of both BW and NBW chose the CT as their favorite therapist. The research and clinical implications of the findings are discussed.