How to Work with Difficult Men
in Your Therapy Sessions
There is a repertoire of relationship skills that most men have never been exposed to, a Relational technology most men can master, particularly if it's framed in such direct, straightforward terms, a language to which most men can relate. Men do best in an active therapy that is transparent, and ultimately collaborative, but one that does not shy away from your knowledge and expertise.
BECOME A MENTOR
Men need mentors of either sex. Most men are good-hearted and bewildered. The rules have changed - though no one consulted us. Women have had a revolution and they're asking more of their men - more sharing, more intimacy, more care. As therapists, we are the functional adults in the room, speaking from the authority of our own Relational recovery, offering the same repertoire of skills we use in our own lives every day.
TEACH PRACTICAL SKILLS
This course will teach you--through live lectures and video segments of real sessions--how to help men realize their need to become more skilled and help them commit to the work. And then, step by step, how to teach them practical relational skills. We focus on three specific areas: how to cultivate increased empathy, vulnerability, and accountability. As men learn to lean into relationship and secure attachment, both trauma and resistance to change arises. Now we must go a little deeper.
FAMILY OF ORIGIN
Our work goes beyond teaching practical skills. You will learn how to move from present circumstances to family of origin, how to do deep individual work--trauma work, inner child work--in the presence of the partner. In couples therapy, we do not farm out deep character work, trauma work, to an individual therapist, but dive into those depths in the presence of the partner. We focus on profound characterological change using the crucible of the relationship.
FIND ROOT CAUSES
Understanding the etiology of men's distress--along with a cultural entitlement in how that distress is handled--enables us to craft specific, targeted therapeutic invitations to a fuller masculinity- one rooted not in performance but in connection. Through the use of specific language and interventions, men feel supported and can take the step to healing root wounds.
LEAVING A LEGACY
Finally, this work is not for the client alone. It is for the generations. As I discussed in my book I Don’t Want to Talk About It, family pathology rolls from generation to generation like a fire in the woods taking down everything in its path--until one person in one generation has the courage to turn and face the flames. That person brings peace to his or her ancestors and spares the children that follow.
A Special Message for My Female Colleagues...
Subtle secrets and ideas on how to work more effectively with difficult male clients:
Having worked with over 1,000 grandiose men, I can say that in all my experience as a male therapist, I have no more authority than my female colleagues. Grandiose men view male therapists as emasculated, so we start at pretty much the same place.
Fortunately, the same powerful techniques for engaging and using leverage work as well for therapists of either gender. In some cases, there are tools available to women that give them an edge over male counterparts. We will explore this in some depth, including the following questions:
- As a therapist, what is your growing edge in dealing with men?
- What about working with men most intimidates you? What most excites you?
- What were the messages about men – e.g. lean on them, or never trust them – that you learned in your family growing up?
- If I told you that you were interested in working with, even healing, difficult men because of some yet-to-be-resolved issue in your own life, what do you imagine that issue would be?
2. Written Transcripts for ALL the Calls
For each call we are on together you will get a written transcript and be able to download all the worksheets.
3. Downloadable Access to the Videos and Audio for Easy Review and Listening
Each week we’ll be together on video calls. If you want to review or listen to the calls or if you miss a call then you will be able to download both the audio and video from the call so you will own it forever.
4. Private Membership Site with Easy Access to All Training Materials
You can access all of the training materials at your leisure inside the site. Everything will be downloadable.
Masculinity Now: Understanding Our Male Clients
We will dive in to explore the central Myths of Masculinity, along with the issue of men’s dignity and humiliation, their shame and grandiosity. The three-part psyche of Functional Adult, Adaptive Child, and Wounded Child are described, with an emphasis on how these relate to male psychology. In this session, you'll learn:
- How to hold men both empathically and accountable at the same time,
- How to diagnose each male client in terms of self-esteem, from the inside out or the outside in: their state of health, shame or grandiosity.
- How to place the individual man’s life into context: Across the West, women have had a revolution – now it’s up to men to deal with it.
- How to help men understand Patriarchy and the old code from which we are emerging, not always gracefully.
Men in Relationships
Two diagnostic tools, The Relationship Grid and The Five Losing Strategies, are offered as quick and effective ways to understand how male clients handle themselves. What is their characteristic relational stance: controlling father, angry pursuer, or charming bad boy? In this session, you'll learn:
- How to decide when to work with a man alone and when and how to bring in his partner.
- What men really want from their relationships, and what prevents them from getting it.
- How to separate fact from fiction with Male sexuality.
- How to diagnose a man’s Boundary Profile – boundaryless and dependent or walled off and avoidant?
- The aspects of Narcissism common to grandiose men.
Working With Men, Part One: How to Engage Men
We will look at the problem of Grandiosity and how it blunts judgment of the negative consequences of one’s actions. Also described are tools of positive and negative leverage that therapists—both male and female—can use, when needed, to motivate difficult men. Also explored are ways to move into a man’s family of origin and (often traumatic) childhood. The Trauma Grid is offered as a tool. In this session, you'll learn:
- How to delve into his childhood experience while looking for resonance: beliefs, behaviors, roles, themes in the parent’s relationship that have been internalized by the man’s Adaptive Child.
- How to separate out the man’s Functional Adult from his Adaptive Child Part.
- How to create a therapeutic alliance with the Functional Adult part of the man to deal together with his Adaptive Child, bringing the man back into empathy and connection.
- The three questions to ask a man to help them identify the source of the pattern and a way out.
Working with Men, Part Two: Reconstructing Men by Deconstructing Masculinity
Practical tools are introduced to help men begin to question core assumptions about themselves and their own masculinity. These are beliefs held by the Adaptive Child and passed on by fathers and mothers, and by the culture at large. Techniques are offered for shifting from the narrow frame of the personal to the broader frame of the cultural and back again, helping men actively and concretely reconfigure who they are as men. In this session, you'll learn:
- The cultural etiology of what ails men and the ways men tend to handle, or mishandle, their pain.
- The Three Rings of Patriarchy—and their impact on a boy’s development.
- How to move your clients through the basic steps of inner child work.
- How to understand and use current gender asymmetry: the fact that women want greater emotional intimacy from men than we raise boys to deliver.
- How to help men through a process of sifting through their own imagery and values of masculinity, keeping what serves and discarding the rest.
Bringing It Home: Our Role as Therapists & Teachers of Relational Skills
Practical techniques are offered to help therapists be active mentors to men, inhabiting clearly, transparently, and humbly the role of the Functional Adult in the room. Therapists must judiciously disclose and speak from the authority of their own experience. And therapists must take sides, calling it like they see it, in a way that increases a man’s trust in the therapist and the therapy. In this session, you'll learn:
- How to understand the role of the therapist in working with difficult men and how to use judicious self-disclosure.
- How to focus on relational skill building with particular emphasis on empathy and vulnerability.
- How to understand and utilize: infidelity, addiction, anger.
- How to work with gay or transgendered men.
- How to tune in to our own internal reactions and growing edges as therapists.
- How to understand our own family of origin context that we bring to the healing endeavor.
PLUS, You'll Receive These
Special Limited Bonuses:
BONUS EXPERT TRAINING CALL:
Carol Gilligan, American feminist, ethicist, and psychologist and author In a Different Voice
From Boys to Men - Trauma and the Culture of Masculinity
Psychologist and educator Carol Gilligan, famed for her groundbreaking work on girl’s development, reviews the latest research on boy’s development. What are the consequences of common boyhood trauma for characteristically male struggles, such as addiction, rage, infidelity, and narcissism? Her radical view of the healing power of pleasure will inspire. Terry and Carol will also discuss their Family Institute of Cambridge research project on couples on the brink.
Topics will include:
- Review of the latest research on boy’s development.
- The State of Masculinity in America.
- What women need to know about men.
- Why Relational Life Therapy is particularly effective with men – an analysis.
BONUS EXPERT TRAINING CALL:
Michael Kimmel, Author of Angry White Men and Guyland
Men in Crisis
Sociologist Michael Kimmel, one of the world’s foremost experts on men, will review his own latest research on the roots of political extremism in the culture of masculinity. Michael has worked extensively with four different groups handling disaffected extremists – from white supremacist to jihadists. Some of his insights will surprise you. Terry and Michael will discuss the role of Patriarchy in men’s lives and the effect of traditional masculinity on intimate relationships.
Topics will include:
- Male rage – both its psychological and social components--and what to do about it.
- The current crisis in masculinity in an historical perspective.
- A review of Michael’s new research correlating masculine culture with political extremism and violence.
- Moving beyond Patriarchy – reclaiming masculine wholeness.
BONUS EXPERT TRAINING CALL:
Dick Schwartz, Founder of Internal Family Systems (IFS)
Working the Many Parts of Men: From Anger to Self Compassion
Richard Schwartz is the founder of Internal Family Systems (IFS), the fastest growing form of therapy in North America. Dick will share his unique vision of doing “parts work” with men. And he and Terry will dialogue on how to deal therapeutically both with the young traumatized parts of men, and with the older though still immature protectors part, what Terry calls the Adaptive Child part of us – the part that does damage in our relationships. Dick and Terry will engage in a lively exchange noting many points of similarity in their work with men, as well as a few but profound differences.
Topics will include:
- Compare and contrast men’s work from an RLT and an IFS perspective.
- How to work effectively with male perpetrator parts.
- Getting underneath the adaptation to the underlying trauma.
- The healing power of compassion – listening to our parts with empathy.
This Training is also Approved for 5 CEs
(Available for purchase after the course.)
Professions include: Psychologists, Psychoanalysts, Social Workers, Counselors/Marriage and Family Therapists, Creative Arts Therapists, Chemical Dependency Counselors
About Terry Real
Terry Real is an internationally recognized Family Therapist, Speaker and Author. Terry founded the Relational Life Institute, which offers workshops for couples, individuals and parents around the country along with a professional training program for clinicians. A proponent of “full-throttle marriage,” as described in his book, The New Rules of Marriage, Terry has been called “the most innovative voice in thinking about and treating men and their relationships in the world today.”
Terry is the best-selling author of, I Don’t Want to Talk About It: Overcoming the Secret Legacy of Male Depression, the straight-talking, How Can I Get Through to You? Reconnecting Men and Women, and most recently, The New Rules of Marriage: What You Need to Make Love Work.