Masc for masc – how does gender role conflict (GRC) and masculinity affect the therapeutic process for the male therapist and the male client?

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McPartlan, Mark
Issue Date
Higher Diploma in Arts in Counselling and Psychotherapy
Dublin Business School
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Male psychotherapists undergo the same socialisation in society as males who are non-psychotherapists, and this can have implications for the therapeutic process. This study examines the role of male GRC, masculinity and their effects on the therapeutic process both for the psychotherapist and the client. This study found that the male does not escape unscathed from this socialisation simply because he has had training as a therapist. He retains bias and it is in the acknowledgement and recognising of this bias which is important for the therapeutic process. This study also considers the challenging role that the therapist has with the gay male client. Not only does he usually live in a man’s world different from his own, but he also navigates it a different way and it is important for the heterosexual male therapist to recognise this, examining closely his GRC, masculinity and understanding that GRC comes not just outside the gay community for the gay client but also within it. Just as the heterosexual male therapist can be homophobic, the gay client can also be internally homophobic.