Article Psychotherapy  

Peter F. Schmid

New men? — A new image of man?
Person-centred challenges to gender dialogue

from: Proctor, Gillian / Napier, Mary B. (eds.), Encountering feminism, Ross-on-Wye (PCCS) 2004

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Carl Rogers emphasized the common ground between people — a decisive corrective in the context of his time. Some sixty years later the differences are also coming clearly into view, requiring precise concepts and actions: we are persons as women and men and therefore person-centred as women and men. The gender-specific aspects in therapeutic and psychosocial relationships enrich and differentiate the understanding of person-centred practice and theory. These need to be genuinely further developed; on the one hand with regard to facilitating individuals and groups, and on the other with regard to the understanding of relationships. Person-centred epistemology and anthropology need to be continuously developed.

The thus far neglected topics of sexuality and aggression — discussed as examples — are waiting to be examined. In the process of emancipation, men ‘disconcerted’ by women have the difficult kairotic task of facing up to what is also the enjoyable challenge of developing a new, previously unfamiliar, non-dominant system of values instead of cultivating defence strategies. Person-centred theory and practice contribute important experiences and theories to this end, amongst other things with the empowerment concept based on personal anthropology.


Gender issues, feminism, men, sexuality, aggression, empowerment, emancipation


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