Wed, 26 Mar 1997 10:21:32 -0500

Dear Bob,

One of the reasons that men were not mentioned much in my explanation is
because the source of the information comes from a text generated for
counseling women. Men can be counseled from a feminist perspective, although
there has been very little work/research in this area. The specialty area of
counseling women evolved because many theories (not necessarily PCP)
devalued women and represented the natural development of men as that of all
human beings and women were somehow deviant because they did not follow the
same developmental path. Most theories of personality were developed by men
who embraced (or were emeshed) in a patriarchal white western culture.

The driving force behind a feminist counseling perspective (as I understand
it) is framing of the person's diagnosis/disorder/problems within the social
context. For example 50% more women than men suffer from depression. It
would be erroneous to say there must be something intrinsically wrong with
women because there are so many of them who are depressed (which is how most
intrapsychic theories would frame it, especially a psychoanalytic
perspective). Instead, a feminist theorist would assert that depression is
the logical result of living in an oppressive society. A feminist theorist
will not let society off the hook. Certainly there are some aspects of
depression which are located within the individual (if this were not the
case all women and all minority groups would be depressed and no middle
class white males would be). I believe the feminist approach would work well
with men. Those men in a minority group are oppressed through racism (and
often poverty). It is also possible for men who are part of the majority to
be oppressed, by the desire not to follow strict sex role socilization
values endorsed by the larger culture for example. It is my opinion that
white men are under a great deal of pressure to succeed and embody the
values of the perfect-male-provider.

I am trying to reframe PCP so that it is compatible with a feminist
perspective. The largest obstacle to this goal is the intrapsychic component
of PCP. Yes one's constructs are created, in part, through one's past
experiences and one's anticipated replication of events. This involves
her/his interaction with the environment. However, I am unclear as to the
role of living in our society is given in PCP. Maybe if the role of society
is involved in viewing the creation and perpetuation of the construct, then
I could incorproate a feminist perspective into a personal construct theory
of a person's existence. I guess if I see it how I see it then anything is

I enjoy studying PCP and there are many aspect of it that I feel leave the
individual free and gives the individual the option of choice. To me this is
very empowering. On the other hand viewing a person in her/his social
context can be very empowering as well.

Kaia Calbeck