Date of Award


Document Type

Doctoral Research Paper

Degree Name



Graduate School of Professional Psychology

First Advisor

Terri M. Davis, Ph.D.

Second Committee Member

John McNeill, Psy.D.

Third Committee Member

Joey Tadie, Ph.D.


Feminist therapy, Complex PTSD, SMI

Publication Statement

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Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Feminist therapy emphasizes empowerment through an egalitarian therapeutic relationship and collaborative approach of understanding symptoms and treatment. Feminist therapy can be used with all types of clients, including those with severe mental illness (SMI) as well as complex posttraumatic stress disorder (complex PTSD) which refers to the unique presentation of those who have experienced chronic developmental trauma (Herman, 1992). This case example focuses on a feminist therapist’s work with a young woman who has both SMI and complex PTSD, resulting in struggles across several domains. Feminist therapeutic interventions of developing an egalitarian relationship, exploration of intersectional multicultural dynamics, building empowerment, supporting community engagement, and implementing relational boundaries were utilized in her treatment demonstrating the applicability of feminist therapy when treating clients with SMI and complex PTSD.


41 pgs

Paper Method

Case Study