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Gender, Power, Privilege and the Therapeutic Encounter: Working affirmatively with male clients: Video Course


Speaker: Dr Michael Beattie

Product: Video Course
Price: £65

CPD Hours: 3

Video course packs, including all notes are available immediately on booking. The access links are part of your ticket. Online video access remains available for 1 year from the date you receive the video course.

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Over the last few decades, two macro-trends have redefined the dynamics at play in the realms of gender, power and privilege. On one hand, we have seen traditional gender roles being challenged and dismantled as feminism has confronted patriarchal social structures. On the other hand, just as more inclusive, emotionally sensitive ways of being ‘masculine’ are emerging – we have seen the rise of masculinist-nationalist politics around the world. These concurrent themes have found reflection in the rise of social frameworks that, while valorising traditional masculine norms, also build expectations of heightened sensitivity from men as fathers, partners and sons. Inevitably, these themes present as subtle, yet discordant manifestations in the therapeutic encounter. When working with male clients, we can often face a refusal to cooperate with the therapist, high attachment expectations and / or denial of emotional availability – all of which may be better understood against the background of emerging challenges to orthodox masculinity.

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Full Course Information

In these turbulent times for gender politics in general and masculinities in particular, this online webinar helps us to explore the ways in which gender, power and privilege intersect in the therapeutic encounter. Dr Beattie explores contemporary cultural and psychological dilemmas for men and how these may inform the therapeutic process and content.  The aim is to build an affirmative therapeutic practice, both for working with men as well as with clients dealing with issues that affect the men in their lives.

Using illustrative case vignettes, we specifically consider the following:

  • How do we make sense of the contemporary reference points which are defining the new culture of power and privilege? We evaluate the consistent exhortations for men and boys to ‘Man Up!’ and be stoic; while facing pressure to demonstrate ‘new man’ sensitivity, to be perfect partners and fathers, all the while embodying ‘cave man’ imperviousness to physical and emotional pain. We especially consider how these dynamics define the interpretation of ‘power’ in their minds and may form the substratum that we witness in the therapeutic encounter
  • Key models of gender role socialisation and how the dominant ways of demonstrating masculinity and maintaining male privilege in our culture are created. We explore the importance of power and privilege for men while also acknowledging that these dynamics are often used as a means of disconnecting from others. We especially consider the ways these stereotypical behaviours can lead to particular kinds of male unhappiness, poor mental health, suicidal propensity and lack of incentive to cooperate in therapy
  • How gender role norms find their way into therapeutic discourse. It is sometimes argued, for example, that containment could be seen as ‘feminine’ and insight as ‘masculine’. How are the various powers and privileges inherent in gender role positions transacted in the therapeutic space?  What can we learn from modernity and the growing plurality of gendered identities? Do changes in gender politics and identity, as patriarchy is overcome, signal a more inclusive future for therapy?

About the speaker

Dr Michael Beattie is a HCPC Registered Chartered Counselling Psychologist with a research interest in the psychology of men and masculinities.  In addition, he has worked in the field of sexuality, sexual identity and sexual health as well as with issues of gender identity and gender dysphoria.  His book Counselling Skills for Working with Gender Identity & Gender Dysphoria was published with colleagues by Jessica Kingsley in 2018. He currently works as a Counselling Psychologist at the NHS Gender Identity Clinic in London.  Prior to entering the field of counselling psychology Michael worked in marketing communications, facilitating strategic planning and training sessions for clients across the world.


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