Did you know…

Helping professionals collectively interact with millions of people globally – many working in private practices or self-employed businesses, governments and agencies, and/or organizations shaping policy, individual and societal change?

Did you know that this makes them (i.e., YOU!) uniquely positioned to create a more liberating and equitable future?

Social awareness and social justice teachings can assist professionals with supporting clients in more whole, useful and long-lasting ways.

Despite this though, practitioner training generally does not include intersectional feminist and social justice curricula.

Patriarchy, White supremacy, Anti-Blackness, ableism, transphobia, anti-fatness, and all other intersections of oppression influence the physical, emotional, financial and spiritual health of clients. They contribute to stress, restricted education opportunities, role-overload, parenting challenges, unequal pay, decline in wellbeing and more.

Practitioners who interrogate systems of oppression are more equipped to support their clients with: overcoming the barriers and challenges related to such issues; expanding choices and options; shifting hierarchies, roles and labour; reducing risk of harm; accessing support and resources; dismantling colonising emotional effects; and cultivating more social and personal power.

Patriarchy and the gender binary are deeply intertwined: patriarchy manifests the gender-binary and the gender-binary reinforces patriarchy. Despite this, training organizations continue to teach outdated, inaccurate and exclusionary information about gender with many practitioners reporting they did not receive training and/or feel unequipped to work with transgender, non-binary, intersex and gender non-conforming clients.

Oppression has been shown to lead to clients experiencing: despair and hopelessness; complex trauma; diminished self-esteem; depression; education, relationship, housing and career challenges; and other psychological, emotional and behavioural issues. Practitioners who do not acknowledge oppressive factors and/or the impacts of internalised oppression risk harming their clients and/or only achieving short-lived outcomes.

Clients are more likely to feel safe and included in client-practitioner relationships when helping professionals are oppression-aware. Plus, practitioners and clients can use this awareness to collaborate to find: ways of alleviating and/or navigating oppressive conditions influencing the issues they are experiencing; methods for developing skills, confidence and tools that will be of use; and sustainable and empowering options for moving forward.

Practitioners who do not consider intersectional frameworks often overgeneralize situations and prescribe treatments or advice that is based on predominantly white, cis, able-bodied data. People experiencing intersecting oppressions frequently have the most negative and harmful experiences of helping professionals.

Power imbalances influence client goals and exacerbate the issues and barriers clients experience. Helping professionals who are skilled at integrating power analyses in their work can support clients with: understanding the roots of distress; exploring how access to and/or denial of power impacts them; reframing problems in helpful ways; identifying protective mechanisms; finding creative solutions; and creating social networks that can empower clients individually and collectively.

Despite the role that socialization plays in the life of clients, many practitioner trainings do not include robust training on socialization in their trainings.

Practitioners also frequently stereotype and harm clients due to being socialized to perceive and respond to particular social groups in biased ways.

Helping professionals who understand socialization can support clients in exploring the relationship between their internal and external worlds. This can not only be insightful and liberating in itself, but can also enable practitioners to assist clients with: identifying blocks and barriers, ‘resocializing’ beliefs, thoughts and fears; identifying and intentionally using strengths; enhancing self-esteem and self-image; learning adaptive and self-advocacy responses; identifying interventions and actions that are more supportive of their needs; finding communities with shared experiences; and becoming more involved in advocacy that promotes social change.

Helping professionals who are equipped in social justice and intersectional feminist frameworks are generally able to promote more sustainable and long-lasting breakthroughs and outcomes.

And this is just the beginning. There is so much more to unravel, unlearn, re-learn and create.

This is why we are so passionate about the Feminist Coach Theory Training. It is the whole reason why we created the Feminist Coach Academy in the first place. It is why we cover all of the topics mentioned above in the curriculum.

We believe it is important work that can not only support yourself and your clients – but work toward creating social change too.

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