Game Plan

A man's guide to achieving emotional fitness

What Do Men Want?

Men's healing, a toolbox for men and emotional fitness

In the book Game Plan,  authors Alan Lynme, David Powell, and Stephen Andrew, discuss gender-specific treatment for men. Although gender-separate treatment has been around for decades, the idea of gender-specific treatment modalities for men and women has "come of age" in the last few years. Works like the Seeking Safety model for trauma care, and authors such as Stephanie Covington, have highlighted issues for women in treatment, especially those in addiction recovery. However, men's issues in treatment is a relatively unexplored topic. A basic premise is that when working with men, in recovery from addiction, it is wise to "come in the back door" when addressing feelings. Back door approaches can include different methods for screening and assessment, addressing key male issues related to emotions, sexuality, work, money, parenting, etc. Game Plan  provides different approaches in treatment men, such as motivational enhancement therapy, 12 step programs, and the use of a wide range of treatment resources: homework, non-competitive games and activities, videowork, bibliotherapy, art as a therapeutic tool, questionnaires, and poetry. 

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Even as a Sears Craftsman toolbox comes in a variety of colors and sizes, so too much the treatment of men. As most wives know all too well, a man often has to be half dead to see the help of a phsycian. So a key question throughout treatment of men is "why now?" A therapist working with men needs a broad range of tools with men because men often resist getting help--after all, the message we are given growing up is men don't ask for help (or directions). 

A longer conversation is needed as to what tools work best with the treatment of men and their addictions. Game Plan is a good place to start that conversation

David J. Powell, Ph.D., was an Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry in the Department of Psychiatry at the Yale University School of Medicine.

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