Presented by Gary Gross, LMFT
When men find their way into therapy, it is often under significant duress. They have likely been struggling with unresolved issues for many years, and sometimes have made a bad situation worse in an effort to ease their pain. But instead of seeing therapy as a proactive and courageous step toward better mental health, entering treatment is more often a reaction to internal or external pressures and symbolically represents failure, weakness, or both. This means therapists typically begin their individual or couples work with men with a built-in handicap.
Because of a variety of factors, how men cope with common life stressors creates significant problems that impact their ability to be vulnerable or intimate. This presentation will address the life issues that create problems for men, and the many ways that they respond, often with self-destructive and shame-inducing behaviors. Treatment is enhanced if we know how to help men navigate these behaviors with compassion and we can create a working relationship that does not further contribute to their shame.
Gary Gross has been involved professionally with the concerns of boys and men since the late 1970’s when he helped organize the first California Men’s Gathering and taught coursework on Men and Masculinity at City College of San Francisco. He obtained an M.A. in Sociology in 1976, an M.A. in Clinical Psychology in 1984, and has been in private practice since 1987. He has worked at several local non-profit agencies, matching boys with men at Big Brothers and Sisters, developing the first (and only) treatment program in Marin for juvenile sex offenders at Family Service Agency, and running groups for abused boys through the Child Sexual Abuse Treatment Program. He specializes in working with boys, men and couples and provides consultation to groups and other professionals regarding best practices with this population. To learn more about his work, visit his website at www.garylgross.com