Men may be best left alone for therapy

New research confirms what most women have probably known all along: most men aren’t really good at sharing their feelings. The findings come from a study of the differences between men’s and women’s responses to short-term group psychotherapy. The results, which have been published in the latest edition of Psychotherapy Research, indicate that women generally had better outcomes in both supportive and interpretive short-term group therapy relative to men. The research also showed that men were less committed to their therapy groups and were perceived by other group members to be less compatible than women.

From University of Alberta :
Men may be best left alone for therapy

New research from the University of Alberta confirms what most women have probably known all along: most men aren’t really good at sharing their feelings.

The findings come from a study of the differences between men’s and women’s responses to short-term group psychotherapy. The results, which have been published in the latest edition of Psychotherapy Research, indicate that women generally had better outcomes in both supportive and interpretive short-term group therapy relative to men. The research also showed that men were less committed to their therapy groups and were perceived by other group members to be less compatible than women.

”Our results may not be surprising, but they are important because they might help clinicians plan treatments more effectively for their patients,” said Dr. Anthony Joyce, a psychologists in the U of A Department of Psychiatry and an author of the paper.

The study focused on patients who had undergone 12 weeks of group therapy to treat a condition known as complicated grief, meaning they were unable to come to terms with the loss of a significant other and, in addition, were experiencing problems in work or social functioning. The results of the study, which were based on surveys completed by psychotherapists and their patients, showed that symptoms of avoidance, depression, anxiety, and general distress improved in a clinically significant manner for the women but did not change to a similar degree among the men.

”It is becoming more and more clear from research conducted all over the world that gender is a key variable to consider when dealing with depressed individuals,” Joyce said. ”The evidence from our findings certainly suggests that men may derive less benefit from a short-term group psychotherapy than women.”

”We recognize that in contemporary society there is considerable variability among women and men in the preferences, needs, and behaviors related to group therapies,” he said. ”Nevertheless, our findings suggest that patient gender is a potentially influential variable for group psychotherapy.”

However, Joyce added that size of the study group was relatively small (12 of 51 people in the trial were male), and the results of this study do not suggest that group therapy can not help men.

”This research focused on short-term groups,” he said. ”In longer-term therapies, it may be that men are better able to eventually ‘get on board’ and attain the same level of improvement as women.”

The study is just one of many that Joyce and his colleagues have completed for the Edmonton Psychotherapy Research and Evaluation Unit (EPREU). Nearly 20 years old, the EPREU was developed by Joyce and other psychologists and psychiatrists at the U of A to help clinicians around the world determine which mode of therapy is best suited for each of their own patients.

2 COMMENTS

  1. I recently discovered most of the research on men in therapy is based more on women. I recently completed this anonymous survey on “Men’s Views of Psychotherapy” and hope others fill this out as there needs to be more research with more male input. This survey also give a $15 rebate for completing the easy survey.

    A participant must be: adult male, 21-years of age or older, currently in individual-outpatient psychotherapy, and has completed 3 or more psychotherapy sessions with his current therapist. Each participant receives a $15.00 gift-certificate redeemable at Amazon.com upon survey completion. If you know anyone who may be interested in contributing to the research on this topic, please send him this link:

    https://www.psychdata.com/s.asp?SID=118712

    Thank you,
    June Martin
    p.s. My recruiting-participants letter below:

    Seeking Male Clients for Anonymous Online Study of:
    MEN’S VIEWS OF PSYCHOTHERAPY

    Hello,
    My name is June Martin and I am a doctoral student at Fielding Graduate University. This study has been reviewed and approved by the Institutional Review Board of Fielding Graduate University. I am requesting your assistance with recruiting adult male participants for my doctoral dissertation research. I am looking for men aged 21 and older, who are currently in outpatient, individual psychotherapy and have had a minimum of three sessions to participate in my study on men’s views of their therapeutic relationship with their therapists.

    The purpose of the study is to better understand male clients’ perspectives of what makes a therapeutic working alliance positive and helpful.

    The participants in this study will complete a brief background form, three questionnaires, and two open ended questions on a secure website. The questionnaires examine male clients’ views of their therapeutic relationships with their therapists and their views of male gender roles. Data collection through a secure, confidential website is used to protect the confidentiality and anonymity of participants. All participants will be given a $15 dollar gift certificate redeemable at Amazon.com for their participation. Your participation will help in the advancement of male clients’ views of positive and helpful psychotherapy. If you know anyone who fits the above description and is willing to participate in this study, please refer them to:

    https://www.psychdata.com/s.asp?SID=118712.

    If you have questions or concerns about this study, please contact June Martin, Primary Investigator at (650) 348-4835, [email protected] or Dr. Sherry Hatcher, Dissertation Advisor at (805)-687-1099.
    Thank you for your assistance.

    June Martin, M.A. Primary Investigator, [email protected],

    Sherry Hatcher, Ph.D., Dissertation Advisor
    Psychology Program
    Fielding Graduate University
    2112 Santa Barbara Street,
    Santa Barbara, CA 93105-3538
    (805) 687-1099, [email protected]

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