Counseling For Liberation

by Charlotte Ellen

Charlotte Ellen, Ph.D., is a psychotherapist in private practice. She has lectured and been a frequent consultant and leader at Marriage and Family Conferences, Institutes, Woman’s Studies, and Human Liberation Programs. She also writes for use of her material by ministers and pastoral counselors. She also co-authored, with Howard J. Clinebell, The Intimate Marriage, Harper & Row.

This book used by permission of the author. It was prepared for Religion Online by Paul Mobley.


(ENTIRE BOOK) This book is not primarily about counseling theory and technique. Rather, it is an attempt to describe the important connection between good counseling and consciousness raising.


  • Introduction

    The author examines the changing roles of men and, particularly, of women in the church, and suggests counseling techniques for use by pastors and counselors.

  • Chapter 1: The Issues In A Fishbowl

    Using transcriptions of group discussion, the author examines the perspectives and concerns of men and women,and shows how both need to see the concerns of the other.

  • Chapter 2: The Liberated Counselor

    Many counselors define women by their biological function and by their relationships to men, then tend to label them “unfeminine” when they assert themselves. She makes the case for the need for “the androgynous counselor.”

  • Chapter 3: Pain and Gain for Women and Men

    As women continue to re-define themselves, both men and women find themselves involved in new problems and situations that need resolving. Thereby comes the pain for gain.

  • Chapter 4: Counseling Amid Changing Relationships

    Marriage relationships are especially vulnerable to changing roles and identities. Some may head toward divorce while others will achieve greater marriage satisfactions. Counseling during such times can be difficult.

  • Chapter 5: Liberating The Church

    Until now, for most women growing up in the church meant men as the image makers and decision makers. But there are a number of women named in the Bible as having important roles, and contributing to the work of the church. And though they may be in the background, women still contribute in a number of ways. Ministers and pastoral counselors need to be aware of these past roles and especially aware of where those roles may go today.

  • Chapter 6: Techniques For Counseling And Consciousness Raising

    The author suggests some techniques that can help people become aware of the boxes they are in and how to get out of them. The techniques are especially tailored for ministers and counselors.

  • Epilogue: The Cup Of The New Relationship

    So long as one is pushing and another pushing back there is apt to be conflict. But rather than being negative, conflict can produce positive results when done in an orderly and productive manner.