*Note* This scheduling program was not designed by folks who do a lot with APA Style and unfortunately it defaults to listing authors in alphabetical order. We cannot fix this for this online schedule, but the author orders are posted in the order submitted in the printed program available via pdf here.
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Saturday, March 7 • 10:45am - 12:00pm
Gender Roles Within the Context of Violence: How Feminist and Multicultural Psychology Can Inform Practice

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This structured discussion will explore how we as mental health professionals can utilize feminist and multicultural psychology to engage clients in awareness of gender role socialization in ways that increase clients’ empowerment and promote restorative justice, particularly in the face of violence. Drawing on clinical experience and relevant literature, facilitators will consider ideas for effective therapeutic intervention and potential avenues for enhancing clinical training. Gender roles are the behaviors that individuals perform based on socially constructed expectations about what constitutes masculinity and femininity (Mahalik, Cournoyer, DeFranc, Cherry, & Napolitano, 1998). Recent literature on the topic emphasizes the effects of socialization that lead to adoption of gender roles and addresses the need to redefine power-based constructions of gender (Enns, 2004; Jones, 2003). Research has also begun to acknowledge the differences in gender roles across race and ethnicity (Crawford & Unger, 2004; Miville, 2013). In some cultures, unquestioned adaptation of prescribed gender roles, especially when they have power-based sociopolitical implications, can affect a person’s physical and mental wellbeing (Miville, Bratini, Corpus, Diaz, 2013). Using therapy to address such dynamics, clients may be better able to develop a fuller sense of themselves as gendered beings, which in turn may foster greater psychological health (Miville, Bratini, Corpus, & Diaz, 2013). In working with clients from a feminist perspective, special attention should be placed on the impact of gender role identity on physical and emotional violence, which requires therapists to explore clients’ beliefs related to masculinity and femininity (Sokoloff & Dupont, 2005). Special attention should be placed on how a female client’s gender role identity may impact her experience and understanding of physical and emotional violence (Crenshaw, 1991). In addition, when working through experiences of violence in therapy, an examination of gender role expectations may provide female clients with a deeper understanding of such experiences. It may also facilitate an opening to explore novel ways of developing restorative empowerment as clients heal from violence-related experiences. Per recent feminist literature, as instances of violence around the world increase, it becomes ever more imperative that the racial, ethnic, and gendered differences of such experiences are addressed (Crawford & Unger, 2004). It is therefore vital for therapists to gain an awareness of the influence of gender socialization on their clients’ lives and frame the context of therapy from this lens (Steigerwald & Forrest, 2004). Therapists should also evaluate how their own gender-based beliefs may contribute to their conceptualizations of the issues presented by their clients (Steigerwald & Forrest, 2004).

Saturday March 7, 2015 10:45am - 12:00pm PST
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