David Wexler - When Good Men Behave Badly: Innovative Strategies for Reaching Men in Therapy

  • University of Calgary - MacEwan Hall 402 Collegiate Blvd NW Calgary, AB, T2N 4V8 Canada

Co-sponsored by Calgary Domestic Violence Collective

Workshop Overview:

Traditional models of psychotherapy and couples therapy have often fallen short in trying to reach men — and in recognising patterns of both defenses and strengths that men bring with them into relationships. This workshop will focus on contemporary and creative perspectives of male psychology and, in particular, on how to reach men and bring out their best qualities.

Interweaving popular film clips with some of the latest theory and research about men’s psychology, Dr. Wexler will use these scenes to illuminate men’s issues from a compassionate, self psychological perspective. Particular emphasis will be placed on the ‘broken mirror’ phenomenon and research about the ways in which men experience women as being powerful and turn to women excessively for validation of the self. Participants will learn conceptual models and very practical interventions for male aggression, male depression, men trying to manage their relationships, male shame, male expectations and male emotions. The presentation will also focus on learning about language and imagery that make sense to men and helping them frame positive changes as part of a ‘masculine’ narrative.

Learning Objectives

By the end of the training participants will:

  • Understand the self psychological perspective of ‘good men behaving badly’.
  • Recognize and work with fundamental psychological needs of ‘mirroring’ that affect men in their relationships with women.
  • Understand the latest research about male brain patterns and male psychology.
  • Identify the most contemporary perspectives on male-type depression and how this affects relationships.
  • Recognize the different types of male domestic violence and what the motivations are.
  • Understand current research about the ways in which males process emotions and often act in dysfunctional ways to defend against dysphoric affect.
  • Develop a more informed and compassionate perspective about men’s emotional struggles in relationships.
  • Learn specific strategies for helping men deal with emotions and communicate more effectively in intimate relationships.


DAVID B. WEXLER, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist in private practice in San Diego, specializing in the treatment of relationships in conflict. He is the Executive Director of the Relationship Training Institute, which provides education and treatment internationally for relationship development and the prevention and treatment of relationship violence. Dr. Wexler has trained thousands of community professionals, military personnel, and law enforcement officials through extensive training seminar on his STOP Program model for treating domestic violence. The California Psychological Association has designated Dr. Wexler as a Master Lecturer, and he received the Distinguished Contribution to Psychology award at their annual convention in 2003. Dr. Wexler is the author of Men in Therapy, When Good Men Behave Badly, Is He Depressed or What?, and the STOP Domestic Violence Program. He has written many articles and book chapters, has been featured on the Dr. Phil show and the TODAY show, in the Washington Post, ‘O’ magazine, Cosmopolitan, Redbook, Men’s Health, and on hundreds of radio and TV programs throughout North America to help educate the public about relationships in conflict and how to resolve them. Dr. Wexler receives rave reviews for his ability to integrate theory, contemporary research, video examples, creative clinical strategies, and humour in training professional audiences.


  • Understanding male psychology
  • Masculine gender role stress.
  • Shame-o-phobia.
  • The ‘broken mirror’ sequence.
  • The power of women.When good men behave badly
  • The context of competence.
  • Approaching ‘good men behaving badly’.
  • Typical male counseling-o-phobia.
  • Respecting ‘relational dread’.
  • Accountability and disinhibitors.
  • Responding to emotional hijacking.


  • Guy talk and reaching defensive men
  • Rules of engagement.
  • Respecting male defensiveness and male shame.
  • Innovative strategies for reaching defensive men.
  • Pacing and leading
  • Male-type depression: Is he depressed or what?
  • Irritable Male Syndrome.
  • Imaginary crimes.
  • Sex and infidelity.


  • Intimate partner violence
  • Relationship violence: One size does not fit all
  • Intimate partner terrorism vs. situational couple violence.
  • Winning strategies in domestic violence treatment.
  • Screening and risk assessment for domestic violence risk.
  • Women and men
  • When women treat men.
  • Countertransference and challenges.
  • When men ‘come on’ to female therapists.
  • Guidelines for women in relationships with men.
  • Respecting ‘shame-o-phobia’ and ‘broken mirrors’.
  • Disqualification moves.
  • Recognising men who won’t change.


  • Using yourself
  • Self-disclosure.
  • Advanced de-shaming.
  • Twinship experiences.
  • Personal reactions.
  • Challenges and countertransference.
  • Celebrating masculinity: Authenticity and intimacy
  • Respecting male self-concept.
  • Real men.
  • Seeing himself and his partner clearly.
  • The authentic self and the authentic other.
  • The four pillars of intimacy.
  • Intimacy: Action steps.Emotional honesty and behavioural honesty.
  • True love.

Continuing Education Unit Credits:

The workshops carry CEU credits for professionals.  In order to receive the credits, full attendance is required at the face to face workshops and in case of online courses, the requirements are listed on the website.  The Certificate of Participation will be provided at the end of workshops. Those leaving early or coming late will forfeit the Certificates. Normally, no partial credits are available.  In exceptional circumstances, partial credits may be provided if advance approval is sought in writing fswcrc@ucalgary.ca.

CDVC Member Rate: (please contact us for the registration code)

  • On or before October 23, 2014 - $175.00
  • After October 23, 2014 - $225.00

To register, click here.