420 – Disarming Shame

How Therapist Self-Disclosure Can Engage Male Clients
David Wexler

If you’ve ever worked with men, you know how intensely sensitive they can be to shame and feelings of incompetence. If therapists can’t de-shame the therapeutic experience, men won’t stay for very long, and won’t be as real as they need to be to benefit from the experience. Therapist self-disclosure, carefully calibrated, can be extremely effective in disarming male shame and its behavioral cousins: denial, minimization, defensiveness, and avoidance. Through video and case examples, you’ll explore how to:

  • Develop the “twinship experience” with clients to disarm male defenses and activate male engagement
  • Carefully craft effective therapist self-disclosure to facilitate engagement and sharing, while also recognizing when not to self-disclose
  • Establish more authentic, human-to-human connection with even the most defended male clients by revealing emotional reactions in the moment and personal experiences from the past


David Wexler, PhD, is a clinical psychologist specializing in the treatment of relationship in conflict. He’s the Executive Director of the Relationship Training Institute and the author of six books and many articles and book chapters.

Speaker Disclosures:
Financial: David Wexler is in private practice. He is the executive director of the Relationship Training Institute.
Non-financial: David Wexler has no relevant non-financial relationship to disclose.

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