Quote of the day: WAY OF WEEPING

June 18, 2010


Part of what makes treating men challenging is that they generally don’t signal their psychic pain as clearly and straightforwardly as women. In the postfeminist turmoil of shifting relationship dynamics, men have been struggling to find a way to relate intelligently, parent sensitively, and manage their emotional needs with more consciousness and depth. Many of us haven’t figured out a way to do all these things and still really feel like men. Author William Pollack describes men’s anger as their “way of weeping”—an expression of underlying pain that women would more likely display with tears or more direct expressions of sadness and loss. Men also “weep” by drinking, withdrawing, acting defensive, blaming others, getting irritable, being possessive, working excessively, becoming overly competitive, suffering somatic complaints and insomnia, and philandering.

As therapists, we have two choices: shoehorn men into a process that’s traditionally been more user-friendly for females, or reshape what we do and how we present it to better reach male clients.

— David Wexler, Psychotherapy Networker

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