Moving toward mainstream: perspectives on enhancing therapy with men.Psychotherapy (Chic) 2010; 47(3):273-5P
Psychotherapists began sharing their clinical experiences with men's gender-related psychological issues and the challenges of addressing them in therapy during the late 1970s and early 1980s (e.g., O'Neil, 1981; Scher, 1979; Skovholt, 1978). However, it has taken several decades for these messages and the accompanying research to yield advances that are being adopted into more mainstream psychotherapeutic practices. Over the recent three decades, the theory, research, and clinical wisdom about psychotherapy with men can be viewed as falling into several main clusters. Specifically, there is literature and research providing: - General information on masculine socialization and the psychology of men. - Information about specific issues that men and male clients bring to therapy. - Information about the expectations and experiences of specific groups of men (e.g., men of differing racial/ethnic backgrounds, geographical regions, age cohorts, spiritual/religious beliefs, differing physical ability statuses). - Suggestions for addressing men's reluctance to seek psychotherapy and the challenges associated with forming therapeutic working alliances with men when they do come to therapy. - Suggestions regarding adjustments to psychotherapeutic processes for conducting effective psychotherapy with men. - Development and assessment of instruments to assess endorsement of various male norms and of aspects of men's gender role conflict and stress. Reviewing the earliest writings, some of these pioneering therapists' initial clinical observations remain highly relevant today.