Everyone is interested in how men and women can get along these days. The model Allen and Dan offer is different. No more “we’re from different planets.” As our regular listeners know, Dan is working on a new book, What Men Would Tell You If They Weren’t Too Busy Watching TV with his good friend Dr. Allen Berger. Allen is back on the podcast this week— as he is the third week of every month— to share more of the “whys and hows” behind the book.
In this episode, Dan and Allen talk about why they chose to write a book specifically for women. The Man Rules tend to prohibit men from being truly open and honest about who they are and what they need. It can be difficult for women to find a way in, in order to develop a deeper connection. The book is all about helping women create an opening in the relationship where there wasn’t one before. Through the questions and conversation topics Dan and Allen suggest in the book, women may once again be able to see their relationships as places of endless possibility, almost as they did when they first met their man. To help illustrate those possibilities, Dan and Allen share examples from their work with couples and from their own lives and relationships.
The book, however, is not about women having to change who they are in order to make that connection. Part of the secret is women learning not to take their partners’ behaviors personally. Dan and Allen cannot emphasize enough that if a man is acting inappropriately or in any way abusively, the woman has no role to play in “fixing” that.. That woman should put down the book and get professional help for her safety and to help heal or end the relationship.
As Dan says, “At the end of the day we’re really just trying to provide a resource for women to get a better look at the inner lives of men. We want to create a little more compassion and empathy providing a different perspective on their man’s behavior.”
There is no question that our society is deeply interested in how men and women get along these days. And there are certainly models that have attempted to negotiate that. What Allen and Dan are doing is a different approach. No more of this different planet crap. This is two men who are very committed to growing in their relationships with the women in their lives. They believe part of the solution is helping women better understand men from a conscious man’s perspective.
We’d love to hear what you think about this episode, AND/OR to hear about your experiences with the Man Rule we’ll be covering next month: Don’t cry. Please email [email protected] with your questions and comments. Or reach out on Facebook or Twitter.
Allen Berger, Ph.D., is an internationally recognized expert in family and couples therapy, and in the science of addiction and recovery. He is best known for his work on integrating modern psychotherapy with the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous and for his insights into emotional sobriety. He is also recognized for his outstanding work as a psychotherapist and trainer.
He brings a highly unique background to his profession. His own personal journey in recovery started in 1971, on the beautiful island of Oahu, Hawaii. There he fell in love with recovery and with helping people find their way out of the abyss of addiction into the light of recovery. He overcame dropping out of high school, and received a doctorate in clinical psychology from UC Davis in 1987.He was trained and mentored by two brilliant clinicians: William C. Rader, M.D. and Walter Kempler, M.D..
He is the author of several journal articles as well as two books: Love Secrets – Revealed (HCI Books, 2006) and the bestseller, 12 Stupid Things that Mess up Recovery (Hazelden, 2008)). His pamphlet How to Get the Most out of Group Therapy (Hazelden, 2007) helps new admissions understand the process of group therapy and how to use the group to optimize their experience in treatment.
His office is located in Southern California where he divides his time amongst private practice, teaching, writing and playing tennis.