Men’s Page

NEW FOR  2019


NOVEMBER 14, 15, 2019


Men and the #MeToo Movement:

Creating Pathways to Healing and Transformation

The Philadelphia Men’s Center for Growth and Change (MCGC) is planning a regional conference scheduled for the fall of 2019 (Nov. 14,15) focusing on work with men and boys in response to the #MeToo Movement.

The conference will enhance our understanding of how sexual harassment and violence against women occurs, as well as the cultural and social factors that contribute to men and boys’ involvement either through direct action in the form of harassment or as bystanders. We will present best practices derived locally and internationally that have been shown to be effective in preventing sexual violence in both public and private spaces.

Our goal is to inspire those working with boys and men to find ways to help them become more active in this effort, to provide attendees with critical skills and insights that inform them about how to help men enrich their own personal lives and their relationships.


The conference is open to leaders, professionals and activists who work in the fields of counseling and therapy, business and HR, education and teaching, medicine and health care, clergy, and others who work in settings where sexual harassment and abuse occur or whose focus is on programs that prevent harassment and risk of sexual violence. We welcome attendees from all backgrounds, races, ethnicities, physical abilities, gender orientations and identities.

Brief Overview

The conference takes place over two days. Presentations cover a wide range of topics and questions that can lead us to solutions around sexual violence and men’s roles. Some examples include: How to develop workplace settings that feel safe, respectful and welcoming to women; establishing safe conditions and help young people practice healthy rules for sexual engagement in our schools and on college campuses; creating men’s groups and supporting male friendships that help men develop emotional intimacy skills and gender accountability; using parenting skills that lead to eliminating sexism and empower boys (and girls) to form emotionally supportive and “non-sexist” relationships; understanding the ways that sexual violence impacts on those men and women from marginalized groups; creating an understanding about how men who have harmed others heal themselves and contribute to the healing of those they’ve harmed.

The core focus of this conference addresses the question:

How can individuals and communities mutually create the conditions for safety and accountability, altering the underlying conditions that allow for sexual violence against women in society?

Ultimately, we hope that the conference will help to strengthen and expand the network of organizations that are working to end sexual harassment and violence in the Philadelphia area and beyond—as well to advance effective programming and policy initiatives that may arise from these groups.

Rob Garfield MD.          Jenn Pollitt                                                        Conference Chair          Director of Development and Fundraising

The Men’s Resource Center of Philadelphia

              Clinical Workshop Series


“Breaking the Male Code: Enhancing Men’s Emotional Intimacy Skills in Psychotherapy”43DB7957-1D8B-4DFB-90D5-18B2CBAE2CA9 9A44F1A0-2892-4494-BE24-DDB8A5FAE450


Presenters: Robert Garfield, M.D. & Jake Kriger, MS.

Date: October 11th and 18th       1:00-3:00pm

Location: Medical Arts Building 1601 Walnut St. Philadelphia Suite 1017

This workshop is presented as a two-part training for clinicians and others about working with male clients. We present a unique group format (Friendship Labs) for working with men who may be in concurrent individual or couples therapy. These groups help men better connect in their relationships—with their partners, their children and with other men and colleagues. The first session presents the principles of effective work with men in therapy and interventions to overcome the obstacles of Male Code, illustrated through case examples and discussion. The second session involves experiential learning of these principles through attendee participation in our leader run groups (story circles). Clinician attendees may be eligible to participate in an ongoing experiential training group following these workshops’

Cost: 30$ per session/ $50 for both   Additional 25$/2 CEUs/session

To register: call 215-564-0488 or email Vanessa at

  Co-Sponsored by Widener University, an organization approved to sponsor continuing education programs.

Widener University Center for Social Work Education is a pre-Approved provider by the State Board of Social Workers, Marriage & Family Therapists and Professional Counselors to Offer Continuing Education credits for Social Workers

Robert Garfield, M.D., is a psychotherapist in private practice and teaches family therapy and men’s issues on the Clinical Faculty in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania. He is author of Breaking the Male Code: Unlocking the Power of Friendship (2015).

Jake Kriger, M.S.S., is a psychotherapist in private practice and has co-lead therapeutic men’s groups for more than 20 years. Over the years he has presented on the topic of male friendship and intimacy at conferences and workshops, both locally and nationally.


Rob and Jake have been co-leading therapeutic men’s groups since the early 1990’s.




Men Today

  Perhaps it’s the age of communication, encouragement from women, the absence of our fathers in early years, or the wish to be closer to our children that accounts for the changes in men today. Whatever the reasons,  I’ve found that men of all ages seem to want to connect with each other in deeper ways than ever before. The desire for more time, emotional contact and support has reached a groundswell. Working with men in their important relationships has become a central part of my professional practice over the past decades. My health, my psyche, my marriage, my parenting and patients have been beneficiaries of this endeavor.  I am grateful.

Men’s Friendships: “Breaking the Male Code”

   Friendship is one of the most powerful, yet undervalued, resources for men in our culture. I always ask guys who their friends are, because I know there is often an untapped wellspring of support  there. As I indicate in my forthcoming book, Breaking the Male Code (May 12, 2015, Gotham Books) friendships between men are evolving. Men traditionally develop  “shoulder-to-shoulder” friendships in which they stand alongside each other, sharing some activity. Their relationships often include feelings of warmth and loyalty, but rarely involve sharing personal information or offering significant emotional support.

I believe that emotional intimacy is a key missing ingredient  in men’s friendships today. The experience of being deeply connected to another man, one who understands your most important feelings and who shares his own with you is a gift.  It is primarily a connection of the heart.

This requires, however, that we reach out more.  We must be willing to ask questions, to listen well, and to share more personal details of our own lives. When we make this effort, genuine caring and affection can develop in the friendship. We feel a sense of belonging.


Friendship Labs  

   Men often have difficulty engaging in psychotherapy. Our culture’s values about masculinity often run counter to those of psychotherapy, which encourages emotional intimacy, personal awareness and interpersonal connectedness.  Over the past 20 years my colleague, Jake Kriger and I have developed a model for therapeutic men’s groups called “Friendship Labs,” to help men bridge this gap.  Friendship Labs help men learn emotional intimacy skills – how to connect with each other, have open and emotionally honest conversations, to listen empathically, to provide loyalty and support while staying connected, and how to relate cooperatively, without competition. These skills, we emphasize, are manly.  Not only do men’s friendships  improve, but their relationships with their partners, children and colleagues are also enhanced by deeper connections.


You can read about our groups (see “Men Helping Men,” a Case Study -  The Psychotherapy Networker, May/June, 2012;  and “Male Emotional Intimacy: How Therapeutic Men’s Groups Can  Enhance Couples Therapy, in Family Process, March 2010, 49/1.)  We have presented our clinical model at several conferences – in Philadelphia (at Widener University) and Washington, DC, (at the Psychotherapy Networker Conference), in March 2012,  as well as in San Francisco (at the American Family Therapy Academy), in June, 2012. We were also interviewed on Dr. Dan Gottlieb’s radio show, Voices in the Family, (WHYY, June 16, 2012,  “Deepening Men’s Relationships” and on the Brian Lehrer Show on June 9, 2015, on “Men and Friendship” (










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