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Therapists' Gender Assumptions and How These Assumptions Influence Therapy

Overthepast20years,feministshavechallengedmarriageand familytherapiststoexaminetheimpactofgenderontheprocessof therapy(Goodrich,1991;Hare-Mustin,1978,1987;Libow,Raskin,& Caust,1982;Luepnitz,1988;McGoldrick,Anderson,&Walsh,1989). Theseauthorshavecriticizedthefieldoffamilytherapyfornottaking intoconsiderationtherolethatgenderplaysinorganizingconversationsbetweentherapistsandclients.Ithasbeenarguedthatwhen therapistsdonotconsidergendertheyareimplicitlyacceptingdefinitionsofwomenandmenthataredeterminedbythedominantdiscourse(Hare-Mustin,1994).Thedangerinnotconsideringgenderis thattherapiststhenignorethepowerdifferentialsthatexistbetween womenandmeninapatriarchalsociety(Knudson-Martin&Mahoney,1996).