Men’s Issues in Psychotherapy and Counselling: A workshop for men and women

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Date(s) - Saturday 29th November, 2014
10:00 am - 4:00 pm

Brighthelm Centre

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Saturday 29th November 2014

Trainer: Professor Andrew Samuels

Venue: The Hanover Room, Brighthelm Centre, North Road, Brighton, BN1 1YD

Schedule: 10am to 4pm (Registration at 9.45am)
Course Fee: early bird £95 (before 1st November 2014; £105 thereafter), including ample lunch, all refreshments, and CPD Certificate.

Are there different stories to tell about men and therapy, a man as a therapist and a man as a client? Why do men become therapists and why do they become clients? Are their patterns, aims and goals different from those of women, and, if so, have we really recognised this in how we think about and organise our clinical work? Or, just as so many aspects of culture take the male as the norm, could it be that, for contemporary therapy, it is the female model that prevails?

In this seminar and workshop Andrew Samuels will use the theme of the male body as a way of organising his material and ideas. The male body is split in Western-style cultures. There are the idealised, sanitised and non-threatening versions used in advertising, in which the man is cuddly and boyish, But there are also a whole series of moral panics in which all men (not just some) get seen as rapists, abusers and emotionally inexpressive. These cultural and public themes find their way into the intimate therapy space.

Professor Samuels will explore three pervasive topics which are also of general interest because of the heat they generate:

(1) The father’s body is still seen mainly as damaging and malevolent in terms of sexual and physical abuse. Its benevolent potentials are more rarely celebrated. Many fathers do not know how to develop the physical aspects of parenting and this has psychological consequences for children which emerge in therapy.

(2) Promiscuity remains relatively un-theorised, yet it is happening all the time. Is promiscuity only a game for men – or is there a more thoughtful and deliberate version that both men and women are developing in our times?  Therapists often find themselves perplexed when confronted with this kind of sexuality. We need to explore this phenomenon because narratives of promiscuity are prominent when working with numerous clients.

(3) Sexual misconduct is still associated with male therapists and most of the perpetrators are men. But the shadow of sexual misconduct hovers over all therapy, indirectly yet powerfully affecting the work.

This seminar and workshop will be of interest to anyone, of whatever gender, working in fields where these matters are relevant – therapists, counsellors, analysts, psychiatrists, psychologists, priests and ministers, academics and teachers. The event will be part-seminar and part-workshop with both interactive and experiential elements.

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