The Atlantic

Psychology Has a New Approach to Building Healthier Men

A controversial set of guidelines aims to help men grapple with “traditional masculinity.”
Source: Tim Teebken / Getty

This week, the American Psychological Association, the country’s largest professional organization of psychologists, did something for men that it’s done for many other demographic groups in the past: It introduced a set of detailed guidelines for clinicians who treat men and boys. The 10 guidelines make suggestions on how to encourage fathers to engage with their kids, how to address problems that disproportionately affect men, like suicide and substance abuse, and how to steer men toward healthy behaviors. The guidelines’ development began in 2005, and has included input from more than 200 physicians and researchers.

This emphasis on understanding the issues men face comes in America, “men are struggling,” he says. “The recession has , men are less likely to graduate from college, men are than women.” To help patients, the guidelines assert, psychologists need to understand what’s making their lives untenable. For a lot of men, it might be the harsh cultural expectations that can come along with manhood itself.

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