Despite a majority of faculty members citing the psychology of men as important research and practice areas, the study of men and masculinity is absent or limited in a majority of counseling psychology doctoral training programs, according to an article in April's Professional Psychology: Research and Practice (Vol. 37, No. 2, pages 196-204).
In the study, University of Iowa counseling psychology professor William Ming Liu, PhD, and University of Dayton staff psychologist Tari Mellinger, PhD, sent surveys to 454 counseling psychology faculty members, of whom 160 replied. The survey asked whether the faculty member's program had an active research team devoted to the psychology of men; whether a student has ever approached them to create their own practicum devoted to the psychology of men; and 24 other items related to their program's curriculum, research and supervision, and student interests.
They found that, in general, training practices and opportunities in the psychology of men are limited in most of the 52 counseling psychology programs represented in the study. In fact, only one faculty member reported that his or her program had a required course in the psychology of men. Moreover, although most faculty members said that they feel the psychology of men is an important multicultural competency and area of research and training, most participants did not list the psychology of men as one of their major research areas.
The study shows that most programs need to better integrate the psychology of men into their programs, Liu suggests. Doing so, he adds, will better equip students to treat all patients.
"Hopefully [our study] highlights the need to increase both the frequency of research and the number of specialty practicum experiences," he says.
Students seeking psychology of men training should work with their adviser to find or develop relevant training opportunities, Liu adds.