Building a Better Man
A Blueprint for Decreasing Violence and Increasing Prosocial Behavior in Men
Building a Better Man presents a theory and science based discussion of masculinity in modern America, but it also does much more than that—it interweaves a diverse group of compelling personal stories with an exploration of aggression and masculinity in the socialization of boys and men. Where other programs tend to subtly denigrate men as perpetrators and focus on stopping the problematic behavior, Building a Better Man tries to understand the external forces that impinge on the developmental experiences of boys/men and broadens the scope of inquiry into their behavior by reviewing a range of external societal forces that contribute to the problems. Clinicians and group leaders will find that the approach laid out in Building a Better Man leaves clients feeling understood more than judged, which provides a different motivation for change and can set treatment on an entirely different and infinitely more productive path.
Table of Contents
Foreword. Preface. Part One: Laying the Groundwork. Chapter 1: Three Men, Three Stories. Chapter 2: Asking the Right Questions in a Violent Society. Chapter 3: The Masculinity Developmental Hierarchy. Part Two: Building From the Ground Up. Chapter 4: Effective Violence Prevention Strategies. Chapter 5: Building a Better Man Groups for Males. Chapter 6: Building a Better Man Systemic Application. Chapter 7: Ten Things You Can Do. Epilogue. Index
William Seymour, PhD, is a licensed psychologist working at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin and an assistant clinical professor at the Medical College of Wisconsin.
Ramel Smith, PhD, is a licensed psychologist and president of BLAQUESMITH Psychological Consultative Services, LLC, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Héctor Torres, PsyD, is a licensed clinical psychologist and an associate professor at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology.
"Building a Better Man offers a practical and evidence-based program that will be a lifesaver for men caught up in the downward spiral of masculinity-driven violence. The authors’ approach leaves clients feeling understood and accepted, even though they might have committed violent acts. This book is a must read for every therapist working with such men."
—Ronald F. Levant, EdD, ABPP, professor of psychology at the University of Akron and editor of Psychology of Men and Masculinity
"Building a Better Man challenges men to rethink what it means to be a real man. It is a highly readable and practical guide that reveals the many costs of tough, aggressive masculinity. Building on the positive features of masculine power and assertiveness, the authors provide a roadmap to develop the insight and skills of a new, socially responsible masculinity that accepts and works with strong and powerful women in constructive ways."
—Stephanie A. Shields, PhD, professor of psychology and women’s studies at Penn State University and author of Speaking from the Heart: Gender and the Social Meaning of Emotion.
"This book, written by three outstanding psychologists, provides the reader with a powerful comprehensive model of masculine development and explains how timely, constructive interventions can reduce and prevent the violence that affects American society at all levels."
—Joseph L. White, PhD, professor emeritus of psychology and psychiatry at the University of California–Irvine
"These authors from diverse backgrounds are to be applauded for their work with men and for developing a model that specifically addresses male violence. This needed contribution to the field has practical utility for mental-health providers, organizations, and parents, as well as men who want to have better lives."
—Jay C. Wade, PhD, associate professor of psychology at Fordham University
"Building a Better Man is a valuable and timely contribution to the literature on the psychology of men. Through personal stories, analysis of male socialization, and a variety of practical methods for helping men change, the authors offer us a blueprint for how men can reduce aggressive and violent behavior and attitudes and form a more positive concept of masculinity. I highly recommend this book for anyone who works with men in clinical or community settings."
—Holly Barlow Sweet, PhD, editor of Gender in the Therapy Hour: Voices of Female Clinicians Working with Men