Hill, Marcia 1949–
Hill, Marcia 1949–
Born September 6, 1949, in New York, NY; daughter of Lawrence G. (an accountant) and Marcia L. (a nurse) Hill; life partner of Paul P. Hanlon (an attorney). Education: College of New Jersey, B.A., 1971; Rutgers University, Ed.D., 1977.
Home— Worcester, VT. Office—25 Court St., Montpelier, VT 05602.
Psychologist and writer. Psychologist in private practice, Montpelier, VT, 1979—; Goddard College, Plainfield, VT, director of psychological services, 1979-81; Lamoille County Mental Health, Morrisville, VT, psychologist, 1974-79.
Editor,Women & Therapy,1994-99.
American Psychological Association, Lamoille Women's Crisis Home (founding member; member of board of directors, 1981-89; president, 1984-85), Feminist Therapy Institute (chair, 1992-94; steering committee member, 1990-94).
Diary of a Country Therapist, Haworth Press (New York, NY), 2004.
(With Esther D. Rothblum)Classism and Feminist Therapy: Counting Costs, Harrington Park Press (New York, NY), 1996.
(With Esther D. Rothblum)Couples Therapy: Feminist Perspectives, Haworth Press (New York, NY), 1996.
(With Gail Anderson)Children's Rights, Therapists' Responsibilities: Feminist Commentaries, Haworth Press (New York, NY), 1997.
More Than a Mirror: How Clients Influence Therapists' Lives, Harrington Park Press (New York, NY), 1997.
(With Judy Harden)Breaking the Rules: Women in Prison and Feminist Therapy, Harrington Park Press (Binghamton, NY), 1998.
Feminist Therapy as a Political Act, Haworth Press (New York, NY), 1998.
(With Esther D. Rothblum)Learning from Our Mistakes: Difficulties and Failures in Feminist Therapy, Haworth Press (New York, NY), 1998.
(With Ellyn Kaschak)Beyond the Rule Book: Moral Issues and Dilemmas in the Practice of Psychotherapy, Haworth Press (New York, NY), 1999.
(With Ellyn Kaschak)For Love or Money: The Fee in Feminist Therapy, Haworth Press (New York, NY), 1999.
(With Mary Ballou)The Foundation and Future of Feminist Therapy, Haworth Press (New York, NY), 2005.
Books also published as special issues of Women and Therapy. Contributor to books, including Boston Marriages: Romantic but Asexual Relationships among Contemporary Lesbians, edited by E. Rothblum and K. Brehony, University of Boston Press, 1993; and (with J. Harden)Ethical Decision Making in Therapy: Feminist Perspectives, edited by E. Rave and C. Larsen, Guilford, 1995. Contributor of articles to many professional publications including The Family Digest, In the Family, Journal of Lesbian Studies, and Professional Psychology: Research and Practice.
In addition to practicing psychotherapy for more than thirty years, Marcia Hill has written and edited many works examining a wide range of topics related to approaching therapy from a feminist perspective. Classism and Feminist Therapy: Counting Costs, edited by Hill and Esther D. Rothblum and published in 1996, addresses issues of class bias in client-therapist relations. Contributors to the book offer personal experiences with and insights into how differences in and biases about class, race, and gender can negatively affect the practice of psychotherapy, as well as views on the many dynamics involved in treating clients—primarily females—of different backgrounds. The authors suggest that these biases about the intelligence, circumstances, and overall worth of clients who fall within different economic and social categories should be recognized rather than ignored, and they offer innovative methods for incorporating more class-neutral viewpoints into psychotherapy practice, with a focus on the treatment of both impoverished and economically advantaged women. Classism and Feminist Therapy is geared toward therapists in all areas of practice, as well as those in training, and offers its audience a chance to extend these ideas beyond practice and into therapists' personal lives.
In a review for the Affilia Journal of Women and Social Work, Miriam Freeman, an educator, acknowledged that Classism and Feminist Therapy "not only challenged me to think about my class bias and experiences with class, but stimulated me to feel them—a process that was often uncomfortable." While Freeman suggested that, in some ways, the book left her "wanting more substance and greater depth," Freeman maintained that in its aim to stimulate conversation about class and its role in therapy, "it certainly succeeds."
Hill's 1997 compilation More Than a Mirror: How Clients Influence Therapists' Lives offers insights on the depth with which clients change therapists as people, a twist on the classic examination of how therapists effect change in their clients. Contributor essays explore how therapists can benefit from working with their clients, as well as the transformations within therapists that inevitably result from this process. Writings address how a therapist's own sexual, emotional, or moral struggles are related to their work with an assortment of clients, including those who are dying, recovering from abuse, dealing with anger, and those who are engaged in a variety of other issues. In Hill's own words, "The business of bearing witness to so many lives transforms us as no other work could."
In a Psychiatric Services review of More Than a Mirror, John P. Bair noted that though the book is "unusual," it is also "personal and moving." Bair expressed concern that "accounts that may stimulate learning for some readers may be underformulated and undiagnosed for others," but also felt that the volume is "courageous in entering the difficult terrain of how clients influence therapists' lives."
In the author's 1994 solo effort,Diary of a Country Therapist, Hill shares her personal feelings about practicing therapy, including her individual gains and frustrations resulting from over twenty years of experience in the field. She writes, "What a strange line of work this is…. The job of the professional empath is like that of an artist or poet: to take raw experience, direct emotional response, and somehow make it a vehicle for change and enlightenment." Hill goes on to state, "If therapists are exposed to what is most tragic in life, we are also privy to what is most inspiring."
Hill told CA: "Upon reflection, I think I wrote Diary of a Country Therapist because it was the book I needed to read. Psychotherapy is entry into the most sacred and tender of human experience, and no one is talking about it, not really. Therapists discuss ‘treatment techniques’ and ‘transference.’ We do not discuss love and anguish and transformation, the aching in the gut or the liberation of the spirit. I wanted to do for myself and my colleagues, for all those who go to therapy or consider therapy, what a good therapist does for her client: help articulate the unspoken."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Hill, Marcia,Diary of a Country Therapist, Haworth Press (New York, NY), 2004.
Adolescence, Volume 36, number 162, summer, 2001, review of Children's Rights, Therapists' Responsibilities: Feminist Commentaries, p. 404.
Affilia Journal of Women and Social Work, Volume 12, number 4, winter, 1997, Jennifer L. Hipp, review of Couples Therapy: Feminist Perspectives, pp. 495-497; Volume 13, number 1, spring, 1998, Miriam Freeman, review of Classism and Feminist Therapy: Counting Costs, pp. 121-122; Volume 14, number 4, winter, 1999, Mary Bricker-Jenkins, review of Feminist Therapy as a Political Act, pp. 488-491; Volume 20, number 4, winter, 2005, Diane M. Johnson, review of Diary of a Country Therapist, pp. 489-490.
Family Relations, Volume 47, number 4, October, 1998, review of More Than a Mirror: How Clients Influence Therapists' Lives, p. 454.
Psychiatric Services, Volume 49, December, 1998, John P. Blair, Ph.D., review of More Than a Mirror, pp. 1628-1629.
Psychology of Women Quarterly, Volume 22, number 4, December, 1998, Roberta L. Nutt, review of Couples Therapy, pp. 762-765.
Reference & Research Books News, May, 2006, review of The Foundation and Future of Feminist Therapy.
SciTech Book News, Volume 21, March, 1997, review of Classism and Feminist Therapy, p. 54; Volume 21, June, 1997, review of Couples Therapy, p. 67; Volume 28, number 4, December, 2004, review of Diary of a Country Therapist, p. 94.
Women & Therapy, Volume 18, number 3-4, summer, 1996, "We Can't Afford It: Confusions and Silences on the Topic of Class," review of Classism and Feminist Therapy, pp. 1-5; Volume 20, number 1, spring, 1997, "The Personal Consequences of the Practice of Psychotherapy," review of More Than a Mirror, pp. 137-140; Volume 21, number 2, summer, 1998, "Making Feminist Therapy," pp. 1-16; Volume 21, number 3, fall, 1998, "A Feminist Model for Ethical Decision Making," review of Learning from Our Mistakes: Difficulties and Failures in Feminist Therapy, pp. 101-121; Volume 22, number 3, fall, 1999, "For Love or Money: The Fee in Feminist Therapy," pp. 1-3; Volume 28, number 3-4, March-April, 2005, "Feminist Therapy Practice: Visioning the Future," pp. 165-176.
Diary of a Country Therapist Web site,http://www.countrytherapist.com (October 23, 2007).
Haworth Press,http://haworthpress.com (October 23, 2007), descriptions of Classism and Feminist Therapy, Couples Therapy, Children's Rights, Therapist's Responsibilities, More Than a Mirror, Breaking the Rules, Feminist Therapy as a Political Act, Learning from Our Mistakes, Beyond the Rule Book: Moral Issues and Dilemmas in the Practice of Psychotherapy, For Love or Money, Diary of a Country Therapist, and The Foundation and Future of Feminist Therapy.