NP0020 Men in Therapy: What Clinicians Need to Know

This blog focuses on discussion regarding the course NP0020 Men in Therapy: What Clinicians Need to Know.

Defusing Male Shame with David Wexler


Men in Therapy: NP0020 - Session 3

Discover why men avoid emotional confrontations because of their inherent fear of shame. David Wexler, who specializes in the treatment of relationships in conflict, describes how to develop a therapeutic relationship based on straightforward guidance and “guy talk,” rather than ambiguous “therapy-speak.”

After you hear this presentation, please take a few minutes to comment about what you found most interesting or relevant, to ask any questions you have of the presenter or your colleagues, or to share any experiences. As always, if you ever have any technical questions, please feel free to email support@psychotherapynetworker.org and our Support Team will help you.

06.19.2012   Posted In: NP0020 Men in Therapy: What Clinicians Need to Know   By Psychotherapy Networker
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  • 0 avatar Perri Shaw Borish 06.19.2012 13:04
    this was a truly helpful talk. i think the subject in shame isn't written about enough in terms of the work we do as clinicians and how to work with shame. thanks so much - if you're in philadelphia or any where nearby giving a talk would love to know about that and come hear more. thanks!
  • 0 avatar Colleen Russell 06.19.2012 13:10
    Thank you for your insights. I am working with a man in couples therapy who appears to have a hypersexual disorder. He is on edge and although he and his wife appear to love each other, his constant need for sexual gratification with her is wearing her down. I've shared my concerns and observations, including referral to a psychiatrist for a medication eval, joining a sex addict group to learn what other men have in common. Of course, the woman's traumatic history with a "thug" as she describes him who sexually assaulted her and flew into rages rages is also being triggered. The man hasn't come back into treatment for several weeks, ostensibly because he is working out of town. Any suggestions about how to work with this type of man regarding shame and connection for the well-being of their marriage?
  • Not available avatar Merrilee Gibson 06.19.2012 13:19
    I found Dr. Wexler's comments very valuable, as always. I have been privileged to take a couple of workshops he has led and I found his insights to be of great benefit to me as a therapist.
    I’m wondering how young this “male shame” aspect enters into the male world? I am seeing a preschool-age boy child with behavior problems. He has begun to punish himself physically, biting and/or pinching himself hard enough to leave marks. I’m wondering if Dr Wexler sees some aspects of shame vs guilt--the “I am defective” piece in this young child’s behavior, and if so how I as the child’s therapist could begin to address this to help the child and his parent (a single mother). I would appreciate any thoughts on this.
  • 0 avatar Shirley Hanson 06.19.2012 20:50
    I liked everything about this presentation. One thing that I will remember is Dr. Wexter talking about his bag of tricks - stories about his own life - and having them readily available when needed. He made the distinction between stories and self disclosure.I also wondered about the different between "shame" and "low self esteem" which is the usual word out there.
  • Not available avatar Mary Lou Tabers 06.22.2012 12:08
    I've worked with couples in both non-clinical (psychoeducational) and clinical work, and what I've discovered is that in a lot of couples, it is the man that is more interested in education, emotional work, and sharing than is wife/significant other. I have worked with these couples where the man is more expressive, more engaged than she is, and I've found when I use his language--like success language, goal language, I know the couple will be working with me. Is there a reason or a type of man where you find this happens? One note is that my couples have been from the lower socioeconomic class. Thank you for your insights!
  • 0 avatar Budz Castillo 06.24.2012 01:56
    Dr. Wexler's presentation together with how Rich facilitated it was quite educational and full of practical down to earth "know how" on how to deal with male-shame. I found the insights and learning to be true not only in the clinical setting but also in ordinary day to day experience. I appreciate a lot the personal story that Dr. Wexler shared when he and his wife went on a vacation, I think in Paris, with him discovering how anyone despite a lot of training and knowledge in this area could still fall prey to our world views and personal appraisals of what is happening around us.

    What struck me the most is the "validation" that we as therapist need to provide in order to provide the right atmosphere and help which our male clients need. I find this to be very helpful and true as well personally. I think much of the training and supervision out there is too focused on symptomatology and case management and less on the essential things that really help and make a difference. It was also very enlightening for me to hear about the concept of "mirroring" which I immediately connected to the concept of "mirror neurons" in neuroscience. I absolutely have no doubt that attention to this concept and dynamic should be emphasized to every therapist as it is foundational on how we learn and ultimately make a difference. It reminded me of how true the saying of confucius is, "do not do unto others what you do not want others to do unto you" as truly we mirror what we see outside of ourselves and then mirror it back.

    Kudos to Rich and Dr. Wexler .... more power!
  • Not available avatar Joy Lang 06.24.2012 07:15
    Thank you so much for a really interesting presentation Dr. Wexler. I really appreciated hearing about the "stories" you share with your clients, and how you separate that from self-disclosure. I appreciate very much the time you spent on this conversation.
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