1st Edition

Feminist Reflections on Growth and Transformation Asian American Women in Therapy

Edited By Debra M. Kawahara, Oliva Espín Copyright 2007
    252 Pages
    by Routledge

    266 Pages
    by Routledge

    Understanding multicultural feminist perspectives is vital for clinicians working to effectively help women in therapy. Feminist Reflections on Growth and Transformation: Asian American Women in Therapy provides therapists with valuable insight and research into the identities of Asian and Asian American women, all toward the crucial goal of being more effective when providing therapeutic help. In-depth explorations into the women’s personal experiences and psychological issues provide an empowering multicultural feminist viewpoint that challenges assumptions and stereotypes about their identities while presenting innovative therapeutic approaches.

    Identity is made up from several factors, such as worldview, beliefs, values, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, class, age, and religious orientation. Feminist Reflections on Growth and Transformation: Asian American Women in Therapy explores how these common factors impact psychotherapy approaches for women of Asian American backgrounds. This unique text presents the current research, what the data mean for adjusting clinical strategies, and personal accounts from Asian and Asian American women. Each chapter is extensively referenced.

    Topics in Feminist Reflections on Growth and Transformation: Asian American Women in Therapy include:

    • breaking free of the passive, subservient stereotypes
    • defining gender identity
    • cultural and identity issues
    • emotional parity negotiations in Chinese immigrant women’s marital relationships
    • suicide as a means of agency rather than simply a cry for help
    • the use of feminist and multicultural principles with survivors of domestic violence
    • research on Asian American lesbians’ health
    • integrating multiculturalism and feminism in the treatment of eating disorders
    • innovative therapeutic approach based on Hindu understandings of Shakti
    • approaches to work on body image and eating disorders
    • group counseling with Asian American women
    • training multicultural feminist therapy practitioners
    Feminist Reflections on Growth and Transformation: Asian American Women in Therapy is an insightful exploration of the culturally sensitive knowledge and skills clinicians need to work more effectively with female clients of Asian ancestry. This stimulating work is important reading for therapists, counselors, psychologists, and others in the mental health and social work fields.

    • Asian American Women in Therapy: Feminist Reflections on Growth and Transformations (Debra M. Kawahara and Oliva M. Espin)
    • Psychotherapy for Asian American Women Warriors (Jean Lau Chin)
    • “Making a Difference”: Asian American Women Leaders (Debra M. Kawahara)
    • Too Maternal and Not Womanly Enough: Asian-American Women’s Gender Identity Conflict (Sung Ha Suh)
    • The Construction of South-Asian-American Womanhood: Implications for Counseling and Psychotherapy (Neesha R. Patel)
    • Psychotherapy with Filipinas (Patricia Heras)
    • Seeking Emotional Parity in Marital Relationships: A New Identity Challenge for Chinese Immigrant Women (Irene Chung)
    • Asian American Women and Suicide: Problems of Responsibility and Healing (Eliza Noh)
    • Feminist Therapy: Its Use and Implications for South Asian Immigrant Survivors of Domestic Violence (Diya Kallivayalil)
    • Asians and Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islanders Midlife Lesbians’ Health: A Pilot Study (Suzanne L. Dibble, Noriko Sato, and Ellen Haller)
    • Eating Disorders in Asian American Women: Integrating Multiculturalism and Feminism (Julia Y. Ting and Wei-Chin Hwang)
    • Finding a Voice in Shakti: A Therapeutic Approach for Hindu Indian Women (Neha Navsaria and Suni Petersen)
    • The Double Binds of Our Bodies: Multiculturally-Informed Feminist Therapy Considerations for Body Image and Eating Disorders Among Asian American Women (Kayako Yokoyama)
    • Group Counseling with Asian American Women: Reflections and Effective Practices (Yuli Liu, Yuying Tsong, and Diane Hayashino)
    • Training Therapists to Be Culturally Sensitive with Asian American Women Clients (Karen L. Suyemoto and Joan H. Liem with Jennifer C. Kuhn, Elizabeth A. Mongillo, and Jesse J. Tauriac)
    • Index
    • Reference Notes Included


    Debra M. Kawahara, PhD, is Assistant Professor of Psychology at the California School of Professional Psychology at Alliant International University in San Diego. Her research and professional interests include multicultural and feminist psychology, Asian American mental health, women and leadership, and multicultural competencies in clinical/counseling practice. Dr. Kawahara has numerous publications, focusing on the integration of multicultural and feminist principles in psychotherapy. She has also been an active member and officer for several professional organizations, including the American Psychological Association (APA) and the Asian American Psychological Association (AAPA).

    Oliva M. Espin, PhD, is Professor Emerita of Women's Studies at San Diego State University and Psychology at the California School of Professional Psychology at Alliant International University. In her longstanding work as a psychotherapist, teacher, and consultant, Dr. Espin has emphasized work with women. She was a pioneer in the practice and theory of feminist therapy with women from different cultural backgrounds, particularly US-born Latinas and immigrant/refugee women. She has done extensive research, teaching, and training on diversity issues in psychology. She has also served on several boards and committees of the American Psychological Association and other professional organizations