'Men talking' about dysfunctional masculinity: An innovative approach to working with aggressive, personality disordered offender-patients
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Traditional concepts of masculinity may have important links with aggressive and criminal behaviour. Furthermore when such concepts form part of men's core beliefs about themselves, they appear to be highly dysfunctional with respect to their willingness to engage in treatment. This paper outlines some of the problems arising from dysfunctional concepts of masculinity and describes a first attempt to implement a group programme designed to address these problems with mentally disordered offenders in a maximum security setting. We describe some of our experiences with a small pilot group of male personality disordered violent offenders who participated in an 18 session weekly group programme, and offer some tentative results. The results show some change of attitude, with increased levels of motivation and participation in the group process, and an increased willingness to participate in treatment designed to address specific offence related problem areas.