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.

Overcoming Resistance in Male Clients with Terry Real


Men in Therapy: NP0020 - Session 2

Learn how to get through to resistant male clients by avoiding the potential pitfalls of therapeutic neutrality. Renowned family therapist Terry Real, the founder of the Relational Life Institute, explores how to deal with male clients by highlighting the negative consequences of their resistance, and challenging them to change their behavior by “joining through the truth.”

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.

06.26.2012   Posted In: NP0020 Men in Therapy: What Clinicians Need to Know   By Psychotherapy Networker
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  • Not available avatar Andrew 06.29.2012 23:31
    What a refreshing perspective. I think in our field there is a "feminine bias," if I can call it that, against straightforward criticism, in the same way that in the male world in general there is a bias against sympathetic emotional support. But if those biases reflect tendencies within each gender, then is it possible this "joining through the truth" approach may tend to work better with male clients than with female clients? (I know this interview was focused on male clients, but I'm curious how it tends to translate when, say, the woman client is the "blatant".)
  • Not available avatar Joy Clarke 06.30.2012 04:00
    Thanks Terry and Rich, an invigorating discussion! It seems there's almost more respect in our relationships with clients when we can be even more ourselves. We're both just people, neither better now worse, just with a contract for me to help them. Through the relatationship! So straight truth certainly can build that respect and relationship, especially when our humour or gut feel is expressed appropriately? (I'm hedging a bit here, because too many people have used "Speak the truth in love" as permision to hurt.)For me this works with both men and women. It doesn't work when the client's investment in their 'mis'behaviour is deep and unconscious. And. I notice and speak straight about great things too - eg "You have a great capacity for hard work and clear thinking, from what you're telling me now!" Then if that fits: "I wonder when you lost confidence in revealing that part of you" or something. So - writing this I'm realsing that there's poetry and self-confidence and a hopeful view of humanity that sets me free to speak straight constructively, and enjoy my work so much. Thanks for reminding me through this talk! J
  • Not available avatar Barb LoFrisco 07.01.2012 10:19
    I have a question about taking sides. Doesn't this involve a judgment call? How do you make that call? Isn't some of this quite subjective? And, also, are you worried that you will encourage future triangulation by taking sides?

  • Not available avatar leticia 07.01.2012 20:23
    Many thamks to Rich and Terry, this was very enlightening, what I see in my culture (Mexican) is a real difficulty of empowering women to really speak up and mean it when its time to produce consecuences of a man´s bad behavior, there is always the fear of violence, ¿what can a therapist do to neutralize this threat?
  • Not available avatar Dina K. 07.02.2012 04:35
    Very thought provoking, thanks.I have a question about leverage. When you begin the conversation with the wife about what she can do to demonstrate her dissatisfaction with her husband's behavior, how do you ensure that the husband will view that as leverage, instead of simply responding with reprisals of his own? (as in "You're unhappy so you won't wash my clothes any longer?! Fine,I'm unhappy too.See how you like it when I stop taking out the garbage!"
  • Not available avatar Shirley Hanson 07.22.2012 00:57
    Wow Rich and Terry. I found so much rich material in what Terry was saying, that I kept backing up to hear it again. For sure, I will relisten to the entire one hour session.

    I have always felt/thought that men coming to therapy listen more to males, than female therapists. I loved your concept of "joining through the truth" and that male clients don't have to "love me" even as a therapist(male or female). I came to realize that the issue I have with some male clients disregarding/disrespecting me as therapist, therefore blowing me off, may be a matter of my approach.I still wonder how to deal with the male resistance in my own practice, and indeed my life.
    I am not convinced a male such as the both of you, will even truely understand what I(a female) am talking about. I make that statement not to make anyone wrong, but what I have felt and experienced over 74 years of living and 30+ years as a professional therapist(I also have a PhD), as well as life in general. I am well educated and an intelligent women, but there are a fair amount of occasions in real life where I experience being discounted, because of my gender. I do not think that the majority of males have a clue about how they contribute to that reality, or about how that feels.
    I would love to have some feedback from Terry Real about that issue. This goes beyond the therapy office into society and culture in the great old USA.
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