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A client's gender role plays an important part in his or her life, emotional well being, and the therapeutic relationship. The process of male socialization begins early in a boy's life, typically with primary care givers. In North American culture, men are conditioned to disconnect from relationships, minimize emotional pain, and deal with problems individually. The gender role expectations and behaviors of men in North American culture are examined in an attempt to assist mental health professionals in becoming more aware of men's issues and their impact on the counseling process. Findings from the literature indicate the manner in which men learn to relate to others will affect the counseling relationship. The male style of relating and the ideal therapy patient are opposite in many ways. Thus, it is important for mental health professionals to become knowledgeable about the socialization of men in North American culture in order to more effectively serve male clients. Contains 21 references. (TS)

Descriptors: Client Characteristics (Human Services), Counseling Techniques, Counselor Characteristics, Counselor Client Relationship, Males, Mental Health, North American Culture, Sex Role, Sexual Identity

Autor: Burnham-Smith, Denise


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