Men’s Page

NEW FOR  2017

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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