Clinical psychology and adolescent girls in a postfeminist era

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2 Citations (Scopus)


Adolescent girls’ wellbeing is under threat. They face pressure to achieve academically while simultaneously negotiating a life dominated by social media, an unrelenting focus on appearance, cyberbullying, sexual harassment and ready access to pornography characterised by male violence to women. The sociocultural environment presents significant risks for girls’ mental health, yet clinical psychology remains largely focused on the individual. Cultural factors are also overshadowed by postfeminist forces and a renewed emphasis on biological determinants of psychological sex differences. Clinical Psychology and Adolescent Girls in a Postfeminist Era goes back to first principles and revisits the question of the place of nature and nurture in children’s development, in the light of what we now know about neural plasticity, dynamic systems and gender socialisation. Feminism and its sometimes uncomfortable relationship with psychology is discussed, as are the meaning and implications of ‘postfeminism’, and whether girls have ‘special strengths’. Practice principles and specific ideas for practice with today’s girls are all included. Finally, there is a complementary chapter on working with adolescent boys. Feminist writings about psychotherapy (with women) had their heyday some time ago, and some see boys as the ones who now need special attention. This book contends that the changing pressures of today’s western world call for a renewed interest in specialised practice with girls, taking account of up-to-date theories about child development, and exploring the idea of expanding clinical practice beyond the individual.

Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationOxon, United Kingdom
PublisherRoutledge, Taylor and Francis
Number of pages126
ISBN (Electronic)9781351591034
ISBN (Print)9781138104686
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018


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