Engagement of men in group treatment programs
Keywords:<i>engagement</i>, <i>group</i>, <i>men</i>, <i>male client groups</i>, <i>treatment</i>, <i>ecological model</i>
The goal of this paper is to arrive at a better understanding of the process of men’s engagement in treatment groups. Given the low perseverance rate of men in such groups, engagement is crucial to program continuance and results. A number of treatment factors and strategies that can influence engagement in group therapy programs are drawn from a review of the literature. To gain a better understanding of the factors and how they interrelate, the literature was reviewed from the perspective of Bronfenbrenner’s (1979) ecological model. The studies reviewed show that engagement is influenced by various factors associated with the characteristics of the participants, their family environment, treatment program, and cultural and social values. Current knowledge is discussed to highlight the main research and practice issues concerning men’s engagement in treatment groups. The review underscores the importance of exploring the influence of male socialization on men’s engagement, given that some traditional norms may curb their involvement and willingness to invest in group programs.