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Review of the literature on psychotherapeutic treatment for men displaying emotional restrictiveness

24 July 2000


Emotional restrictiveness is a term used to describe one's difficulty in expressing
feelings freely, giving up emotional control, and allowing oneself to be vulnerable to others. This thesis reviews the existing literature on the models of traditional
psychotherapy proposed to treat men who display emotional restrictiveness.
Additionally, research is presented on the development of, and evidence for, male
emotional restrictiveness, the psychological effects of emotional restrictiveness, and the consequent obstacles encountered in psychotherapy. The models presented differ in whether attention is paid primarily to cognition or to emotion, as well as whether the therapeutic focus is placed on the here-and-now experiences of the client or on the past experiences of the client. All the models examined endorse a need for awareness of male gender-role socialization in determining psychotherapeutic treatment. The treatment models described are primarily theoretical, and treatment regimens have not yet been empirically tested and validated for this population.


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