Counseling adults

Vrorking l.rth Spccific Popr-rlations

MEN. Nlany tl’reoretical approaches. even f-eminist therapy,

can be ltsecl to counsel mcn (Nlcjie, 20Ui r Tirc srrcnllth of iltc thcrrpelltic alliance is the best


preclictor of therapeutic outcomes ({‘arlpo1c1. 2000). Hou,’ rlasculine s<tcializzltic-rn

to\’ard st()icism ancl self-reliance lnav m:rke it rnore challenging tcl establish a strong therape’utic alliance (Goocl et 2r1.,2005). To fhcilit:rte the process, men neecl to feel supportecl.

Itnderstood, ancl not jlrclgecl. Counselors neecl to understanci tlie u-ays gencler socialization

has affectecl male clierrts zrncl clevekrp the knou’leclge ancl skills needed to t,ork ef’fectivel1,

n’ith men’s issues. Neukrr-rg (.2072) has cstablishecl a set of gtridelines. based c..r the r,vork of

l-arious researchcrs. that can help cor,rnselols n.orking s-ith rlale clients. An aclaptecl r,ersion

of t1-rose guiclelines inch-rcles the fb11ou-ing:

c AccePl r’nert ubere thel,crre. This practice strengthens the ther:ipentic alli:rnce and

lruilds tnrst.

‘ Dot’t’t pusb lnen to express tr.,ltcr,l they n’ta-1′ consider lct be “sqlter.lbetings. ” Pnshing men

to express feelings rna1, ptrsh thc-m out of coLrnseling.

o Vcrliclate.lbelirtgs as tbe.1: are expressecl. Early’ in tlie relationship. rnen ma,v ltlamc others

ancl society fbr their problerns. ,’aliclate their feelings u.’irhout f:rlling into the “blarne

llame.” A1so, r,:rlidate clients’ perceptions ol male sex,role stcrt-ot1,-pes.

o Hctt’e o plart.fbr tbe cottnseling process. Collaboratc u,-ith mer.r in der.eloping a plan.

Nlen gener:rllr, like strllctrlre and tencl to be goal-oriented.

t lntrodttce clet’elopruentctl irse.les. Discussing clevclopmental issues can help nonnzrlizc

particular issues. such as qLiesti()ninla ()ne’s career choice.

o Slottb’ett.cotLt’.lge tbe expressictrt cj’neu.’.feehrzgs. W’hcn neu. feelings are rraliclatecl. men

nlaY bcgin to feel more cotr-ifoltable sharinEa more r.r-rlneraltle fceiings.

o Ex,>lore trncleil-r-irtg issttes, artcl reinfctrce neu; u)o.),’s of’Lurclerstctrtcling the u:rtrki. As

cor.tnselir-rg progrerises, cleeper concerns ma).’ cmerlae. such :rs feelings of inaclequacv

,,r’ Irrrrilr’-of-origin irsrrrs.



Ettccturc.tge behauirn’a/ cltctnge. As

nen’insights enrerge. encorlr:lge nten to tn, oltt ne$,


Encouragp tbe integration oftrctL,.fbelin,qs. lteu) co,qnitions. and neu: bebot,iots.

We recognize that these are gr.riclelines. notl’l blueprir-it for counseling. As in .Ln)’colrnr.r.-ill u.ant to unclefstancl the clrltural bachgrogncls of the men vr,itl-r

rvhom yclr-t lr,’ork anci aclapt your approaches accorc1ing11..

In aclclitior-r to incliviclr-Lal inten’entions. group counseling w-ith rnen has been empirica11v supportecl (e.g.. Glaclcling, 2012r Goocl et a1., 2005: Rabinon-itz. 2001). Group counseling can be porr-erful in cr-rtting thror-rgh defenses :rnd building a sense of commr:nity. It

seling sitlration,

can help


tlen normalize erperienccs Ir1, inrelacting w.ith men dealing u.ith similar isslres.

also allou’s men to reprocess many of the negative aspects of traclitional


masculinit’-such as elrotional restrictirreness, homophobia,

l’alue emotion:ll connection



autonomy-ancl learn to

r.ulnerabilitv (Goocl et al.. 2005).

Summary and Conclusion

In this chapter, we examine developmental issues and related counseling concerns encountered by adults throughout the life span. Adults experience many transitions as they agetransitions that differ with each stage of life. 7e describe the transition framework, which