Title

A Feminist Perspective on Group Work With Severely Mentally Ill Women

Authors

Lisa Avery

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1998

Department

Social Work

Abstract

In its attempt to focus on societal causes of individual and interpersonal problems, feminist social work has largely overlooked the difficult situations of women affected by severe and persistent mental illness. Due to distrust of the medical model and its diagnostic tool DSM-IV (APA, 1994), feminists have tended to neglect the needs of mentally ill women while reconceptualizing mental illness as a form of society's oppression of women. Along those lines, the traditional medical model of psychiatric treatment has ignored contextual factors, especially oppression and discrimination, related to the onset and development of mental illness among women. This paper critiques both the feminist and psychiatric perspectives, and presents a group which was developed and implemented using both frameworks. The group described in this article blends feminist principles with psychiatric knowledge in an attempt to synthesize feminist treatment of mentally ill women.

Publication Title

Women & Therapy

Volume

21

Issue

4

First Page

1

Last Page

14