Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier
WebMD

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine
WebMD

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion
    WebMD

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community
    WebMD

    Community

    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Depression Health Center

Font Size
A
A
A

Why Don't Men Like Group Therapy?

One-on-One and Long-Term Therapy May Help Men Open Up
By
WebMD Health News

July 28, 2004 -- Women tend to thrive in group therapy: They grew up sharing emotions. But men often resist going and wilt when they get there. Many just hang it up.

In a new study, a group of Canadian researchers focuses on this Mars-Venus issue: Just how much do men really get from short-term group therapy -- especially after a significant loss, like the death of a spouse?

In his study, women got relief from depression, anxiety, and general distress through group therapy -- while men were "virtually unchanged," writes researcher Anthony S. Joyce, PhD, with the University of Alberta and University of Alberta Hospital Site.

Men are often outnumbered by women in these sessions -- with one or two men in any group. They tend to become fringe members, participating little, dropping out too soon, Joyce explains. It points to the need for "gender sensitivity" in therapy, he writes in the latest issue of Psychotherapy Research.

There's much at stake, since men often turn to alcohol -- and often die soon after such a major loss, says Nadine Kaslow, PhD, a family psychologist with Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, tells WebMD. While she was not involved in the study, she offered her insights.

The painful problem: "They depend on their spouse to take care of them and for emotional support," says Kaslow. When that support disappears, men tend to flounder. They aren't used to sharing their emotions, so they don't deal with their grief well -- whether alone or in a group therapy setting. "Yet that's how group therapy can ultimately help men -- providing the emotional support that's missing from their lives," she says.

Inside Group Therapy

Joyce's study involved 47 adults -- 12 of whom were men -- all depressed and seeking counseling following a death. All were having difficulty getting back to their normal lives, at work and in their relationships. They avoided reminders of the loss, they were angry about the death, and they were preoccupied with their loss.

Those are common reactions after a death loss, writes Joyce. However, those patients participating in his study had what's known as "complicated grief" -- an extremely intense, longer-term grief, plus depression and anxiety.

Today on WebMD

contemplation
Differences between feeling depressed and feeling blue.
jk rowling
Famous people who've struggled with persistent sadness.
 
depressed man sitting on hallway floor
Learn the truth about this serious illness.
Sad woman looking out of the window
Tips to stay the treatment course.
 
unhappy teen boy
Health Check
jk rowling
Slideshow
 
Pills with smiley faces
Article
Teen girl huddled outside house
Article
 
Depressed man sitting in hospital hallway
Article
antidepressants slideshow
Article
 
pill bottle
Article
Winding path
Article