Empowering Women

A Clinical Sociology Model for Working with Women in Groups
  • Janet Mancini Billson
  • Estelle Disch


In this chapter, we present ways of using clinical sociology and feminism to help women find support, sanity, growth, and empowerment through participation in groups. We examine the ways in which a sociologically oriented group process functions to help group members see personal problems as reflections of social/ structural issues, leading women to insight, empowerment, and personal growth.

Cultural, psychological, and physiological characteristics that make working with women distinct from working with men are explored. Strategies for facilitating women’s groups are outlined for trained group leaders who want to create a positive terapeutic and growth environment for women. Finally, client rights and professional ethics relating to sociological practice with women are discussed.

This model and the clinical materials presented emerge from our work in a variety of groups: women’s support and personal growth groups; a 2-year health group for women; a short-term group for women with breast cancer; and 1-day workshops for women who have health problems, or who have beeb sexually abused by their psychotherapists.


Group Leader Role Conflict Therapeutic Group Ground Rule Public Issue 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Janet Mancini Billson
    • 1
  • Estelle Disch
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Sociology and Women’s StudiesRhode Island CollegeProvidenceUSA
  2. 2.Department of SociologyUniversity of MassachusettsBostonUSA

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