Workshop: For traditional men, SFBT fits like a glove – a work glove

Brigitte Lavoie

In the 1990s, researchers in Quebec (Canada) identified what men want when they ask for help. This work showed that the reason that men do not seek help as often as women is not that they suffer less, but that the requirements of traditional masculinity are often at odds with the way mental health services are offered. SFBT provides a unique opportunity to bridge this gap, by allowing us to value and capitalize on many of the traits of traditional masculinity, rather than asking men to be more like women. SF practices allow men to maintain control, show strength rather than be vulnerable, focus on action rather than emotions and introspection, and to find the shortest route to reaching their goals. It allows us to emphasize their skills rather than their deficits, and uses language that is practical and clear. For traditional men, it fits like a glove- a work glove. This workshop will demonstrate how SFBT is particularly useful with men. It will also provide an opportunity to discuss how increasing interest in SFBT among clinicians can make services more accessible to the half of our population that is less likely to receive help.

Brigitte Lavoie has been a psychologist for 25 years. She is a trainer and supervisor, and she also maintains a private practice. Her interest in SFBT began with her work in suicide prevention and in mental health programs for police officers, first responders, and blue-collar workers, where it was essential to adapt practices to reach traditional men. She has made a significant contribution to the promotion of SF practices in the province of Quebec (Canada), and she has been an important voice in the call for better access to mental health services for boys and men.