Masculinity meets humanity: An adapted model of masculinised Psychotherapy


Shahieda Jansen


masculinity, Afro-Eastern model of the self, culture, Ubuntu, psychotherapy


The central concern of this book is masculinised mental health care for boys and men who voluntarily swop male victory narratives with stories of personal pain and vulnerability, as the pathway to personal transformation and freedom from psycho-social distress. Masculinised psychotherapy enables gender-consistent and gender sensitive intimacy exchanges of closeness and distance between men, within an explicitly masculine therapeutic frame, for enhanced personal growth and transformation.

A female psychotherapist’s accidental encounter with male university students who showed up for their first psychotherapy group session, ignited intentional fluency in psychotherapeutic process more relatable to boys and men who seek psychotherapeutic engagement.

Through persistent cultural and gender modifications to render therapeutic discourses more appealing to a masculine audience, she inadvertently cultivated a therapeutic strategy consistent with her socio-spiritual understanding of herself in the world. In other words, she began to see herself mirrored in the therapeutic adaptations meant for her male clients.

Harmonising the process of psychotherapy with meanings of manhood, had the effect of resolving her elusive sense of professional fit and belonging. Reconciling mental health care with masculinity placated concerns of conflicted personal identity and ambivalent professional belonging of a Global South psychotherapist within a modern Western-centred psychological establishment.

Author Biography

Shahieda Jansen, Unisa

Dr Shahieda Jansen is a registered clinical psychologist with a special interest in masculinities, particularly African masculinities. Her PhD thesis made the "emotional expression circle bigger" by zooming in on the minutia of male emotional engagement in all-male psychotherapy groups. She is preoccupied with the practice of men and emotions: men's groups, father-son consultations, couple work etc. Bringing together masculinities and psychotherapy is disruptive on several levels. African (relational-ethical) men are as competent (as women) with personal vulnerability. Framing men as resistant to expressions of vulnerability may take the spotlight from some of the real problems of psychotherapy, such as the intertwinement of therapy with femininity and neoliberalism.

Dr Jansen is attached to the University of South Africa, based at the Western Cape offices where she is a Deputy Director.

Book cover with book title and subtitle, author's name, black and white photo of silhouette of a black man on left, facing a grey outline of his profile, right.


November 5, 2022