1st Edition

Psychotherapy and Unstable Notions of Masculinity

Edited By Del Loewenthal Copyright 2023

    What are our values as psychotherapists and clients regarding differing notions of masculinity? Furthermore, what stops us thinking about them? This book explores our thoughts and expressions about masculinity and determines whether they are inhibited and indeed prevented by cultural, social and intellectual forces.

    Leading exponents in this book explore psychotherapists and their clients’ issues of masculinity including - How tied up is masculine authority with suspect patriarchy? What might it mean to be strong enough to put a client, whether man or woman, first? To what extent can a psychotherapist’s resistance to changing notions of masculinity create a stumbling block for the clients? What is the relation of masculinity to changing notions of femininity and gender identities? What’s castration got to do with it? Can one be critical without being reactionary? What are the masculinities that psychotherapists encounter and what direction, if any, should psychotherapists encourage men and women towards? Through these questions and many others, this book contributes to the debates and therapeutic practices around masculinity and explores the biases and assumptions around gender and its social construct.

    This volume will be beneficial to professionals, academics, researchers, and students of Psychology, Psychotherapy, Counselling, Psychoanalysis and Gender Studies. The chapters in this book were originally published as a special issue of the European Journal of Psychotherapy & Counselling.

    Introduction—Psychotherapy and healthy masculinity: Exploring our values, and what stops us thinking about them, when working psychotherapeutically with increasingly unstable notions of masculinity

    Del Loewenthal

    1. When interiority is annulled: The healing of psychic pain, trauma and deprivation in a case of compulsion to child pornography

    Robert Grossmark

    2. Everybody wants to be a manager: On masculinity, microfascism and the manosphere

    Manu Bazzano

    3. Oh Father, My Brother: Reflections on Psychoanalysis, Class and Masculinity

    Anastasios Gaitanidis

    4. ‘The Spirit is a bone’: Masculinity, authority, and ideology

    Tony McSherry

    5. What am I supposed to be? An essay on Masculinity

    Sally Parsloe

    6. Interrogating and recuperating masculinities in therapeutic practice

    Brendan Gough

    7. Masculinity in the consulting room: A child psychotherapist’s experiences

    Andrew Briggs


    Del Loewenthal is Emeritus Professor of Psychotherapy and Counselling at the University of Roehampton, and is Chair of hte Southern Association of Psychotherapy and Counselling (SAFPAC), London, UK. He is an existential-analytic psychotherapist, photographer and chartered psychologist, with a particular interest in phenomoenology. His books include Existential Psychotherapy and Counselling after Postmodernism (Routledge 2017) www.delloewenthal.com; www.safpac.co.uk .