Feminist Thought and Guidelines for Ethical Psychological Practice With Self-Identifying Women and Girls





psychological practice, feminist thought, psychotherapy and counselling, social justice, ethical guidelines


Several iterations of guidelines for ethical psychological practice with those who self-identify as women and girls have been developed in the field of Canadian psychology and are designed to offer practitioners direction concerning their ethical responsibilities and competencies. But to be responsive to the varied and changing experiences of women and girls within the Canadian context, these guidelines require regular revision. This article discusses avenues for evolving inclusive counselling and psychotherapy practice with women and girls in Canada. While the primary focus is on implications for counselling and psychotherapy practice, the need for ethical texts and guidelines to reflect gender diversity is underscored. Drawing from literature on feminist thought and its applications, this article offers recommendations for ethical and socially just counselling and psychotherapy practice. Additionally, this article is intended to reignite conversation about how future iterations of ethical guidelines may evolve to be more responsive to the current status of those who self-identify as women and girls.

Author Biographies

Tiffany A. Beks, University of Calgary

Tiffany A. Beks, M.Sc., is a registered psychologist in Alberta and a Ph.D. candidate in counselling psychology at the University of Calgary’s Werklund School of Education. Her research interests include socio-cultural contexts surrounding traumatic events encountered in military and first responder service and, more broadly, the phenomenon of institutional betrayal in social and health sectors.

Anusha Kassan, University of Calgary

Anusha Kassan, Ph.D., R.Psych., is an associate professor with a high-impact position in child and youth mental health in the school and applied child psychology program at the University of British Columbia. Her program of research is influenced by her own bicultural identity and is informed by a social justice lens. She is presently studying the impact of immigration across different communities. She is also conducting teaching and learning research and is investigating multicultural and social justice competencies in professional psychology.

April J. Dyrda, University of Calgary

April J. Dyrda, M.Sc., is a registered provisional psychologist currently practising in Calgary, and she received her master’s degree in counselling psychology from the University of Calgary. Her research and professional interests are centred on the investigation of how individuals can best approach and navigate change or transition in their career paths and workplaces.

Daniel Elleker, University of Calgary

Daniel Elleker, M.A., is an independent scholar and consultant in sexual diversity, identity, gender and resilience. Daniel’s research and/or scholarly interests include sexual identity development and immigration.



How to Cite

Beks, T. A., Kassan, A., Dyrda, A. J., & Elleker, D. (2022). Feminist Thought and Guidelines for Ethical Psychological Practice With Self-Identifying Women and Girls. Canadian Journal of Counselling and Psychotherapy, 56(2), 140–163. https://doi.org/10.47634/cjcp.v56i2.61719



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