Social inequalities and therapeutic relationships: Applying freire’s ideas to clinical practice

Eliana C. Korin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Scopus citations


Client-therapist differences related to culture, race, gender, and class are likely to create power imbalances and dilemmas in therapeutic relationships. It is argued that therapists' awareness of these social inequalities and participatory ideologies does not in itself necessarily eliminate the possibility of clinical impasses. Complex social and health realities1 foster the perpetuation of an asymmetrical therapist-client relationship, creating contradictions in the helping process. To deal with this dilemma, a problem-posing method, based on Brazilian educator Paulo Freire's "Education for Critical Consciousness," is proposed. This method addresses the oppressive nature of non-reciprocal relationships, and involves both therapist and client/family in a process of mutual dialogue, conjoint reflection, and action.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)75-98
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Feminist Family Therapy
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 19 1993


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Applied Psychology

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