Women & Their Bodies CE

Image used with the permission of Anne Taintor, Inc.

Women & Their Bodies

Course Description:

Whether by cosmetic surgeries, waxes and polishes, endless dieting, the use of make-up and moisturizers, skin lighteners for some and creams to tan for others, many women are fixated on looking, somehow, better. Social psychologists suggest that impossible cultural beauty norms for women are driving serious mental health issues, including eating disorders and a cultural obsession with an “ideal” body image that is only attainable for photo-shopped, half-starved, and usually white models. These horrifically destructive notions send powerful messages to women about what is “required” to be loved and accepted. In this lecture, therapists will gain a thoroughgoing understanding of the cultural imperatives around gender, race, and class that drive women to compulsively sculpt—and be dissatisfied with— their bodies. The lecture will also explore methods by which patients can “talk back” to the girl-poisoning aspects of our culture. Participants will learn key principles from feminist psychotherapy, which is a proven modality for increasing women’s body image satisfaction.

Course Objective:

The purpose of this lecture is to investigate the ways in which women’s perceptions about their bodies have been created by socio-cultural constructs emanating from the male gaze. The definitions and impossibilities of standards of beauty will be unveiled, as will the impact on women’s self-image. Methods for “talking back” to harmful body ideals will be proposed, and tools will be offered for combating poor self-esteem and negative body image.

Learning Objectives:

Upon completion of this course, the learner will be able to:

  1. Interrogate concepts of beauty, including the cultural production of beauty.
  2. Appraise the cultural construction of body ideals.
  3. Discuss the impact of “the male gaze” on women’s psychology.
  4. Examine how different cultures act on the female body.
  5. List the central components of a woman’s self-concept.
  6. Perspectivize on the impact of the hypervisibility/invisibility construct on women’s psyches.
  7. Utilize feminist psychotherapy and a variety of treatment paradigms to combat poor self-esteem and negative body images.

Continuing Education Hours:

This course is approved by the National Board of Certified Counselors for 2 Continuing Education Units.

Instructor: Susan Hall, D.Min., LMHC

Dr. Susan Hall is a Licensed Mental Health counselor in the state of Washington and has worked in social service and counseling settings since 1991. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in social work, she co-founded a transitional housing program for women and children in central Indiana where she directed the program until her entry into graduate training in 1998. Susan obtained her Master of Arts in Counseling in 2000. In 2004, she opened Greenlake Counseling Services (GCS), a counseling community that provides low-cost office space for private practitioners; GCS is now home to nearly 30 practitioners. Dr. Hall received her Doctor of Ministry in International Feminist Theology from San Francisco Theological Seminary in May of 2008; she was fortunate to study abroad with women from every continent while learning the perspectives of feminist theologians from around the world. In 2009, Susan co-founded Seattle Therapy Alliance (STA) with her colleague Julie Cake, M.A., LMHC. STA was established with the two-fold vision of training graduate counseling students in feminist psychotherapy while simultaneously making low-cost therapy available to local women in their movement toward self-actualization. Dr. Hall has also received post-graduate training in art therapy, marriage and family therapy, gender and violence, attachment theories, feminist ethics, Clinical Supervision, and the residual psychological effects of slavery. She is qualified as an Approved Supervisor in Washington State for therapists seeking ongoing supervision.


Susan Hall Seminars is approved by the National Board of Certified Counselors, provider #6630, to sponsor continuing education for counselors. Susan Hall Seminars maintains responsibility for these programs and their content.

Licensing boards and accrediting agencies occasionally update continuing education requirements and restrictions. Susan Hall Seminars attempts to remain current with these changes; however, it is ultimately your responsibility to complete coursework which will be accepted by your licensing board.

Certificates verifying completion are subject to any changes, limitations or restrictions by the professional certification/licensure organization granting continuing education approval. Some organizations restrict the number of home study credits. It is your responsibility to determine if any restrictions apply to your credential.

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Women & Their Bodies CE

This product is also available as:
Women & Their Bodies w/o CE