Ten women of diverse backgrounds shared the essences of their experiences in response to the question, "What is the meaning of the lived experience of being a woman in psychotherapy with a feminist-oriented female therapist?" The methodology of hermeneutical phenomenology, as presented by van Manen (1984, 1990), was the guide for this study. In addition, compatible principles of feminist research were followed. The women identified and valued the themes of mutual trust and authenticity in the relationship, the therapist's direct communication of who she is, her attunement to the client, her active participation, her conveying of confidence, mutually addressing unmet expectations of the therapy, safety in the relationship, therapist's nurturing (mothering) behaviors, therapist manifesting and the dyad sharing feminist values, therapist affirming and validating clients, therapist helping clients claim human rights, and offering comfortable self-disclosure. These themes were identified after dwelling with participants' many experiences and attributed meanings and systematic analysis of dialogical interviews, creative writings, and current relevant literature.
Thesis (Ph.D. in Nursing) -- University of Pennsylvania, 1999. Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 60-07, Section: B, page: 3571. Adviser: Carol P. Germain.