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Seminars, conferences and online resources on psychotherapy and human relationships

The Masks of Masculinity

Exploring the Links Between Male Vulnerability and Violence

With speakers Rotimi Akinsete, Michael Boyle, Professor Stephen Briggs, Dr Mick Collins, Tamsin Cottis, Nick Duffell, Anthony Howell and Tim Foskett

Friday 17 May (eve) + Saturday 18 May 2019 - London

An astonishing 13 British men each day take their own lives, and 90 per cent of all violent crimes are perpetrated by men. How can we make sense of these statistics and what do they mean for our society? Men and women are realising there is a problem with masculinity. This conference will address how we can expand our psychological understanding of masculinity in order that we can move away from fixed characteristics and given attributes that limit the possibilities of change and social reorganisation.

Using film, dialogue and talks, we will explore how the boy's experience of emotional and physical neglect leads to shame and grief which cannot be expressed in a culture dominated by the perceived need for apparently strong males. Examining the mismatch between internal worlds and external expectations - and the impossibility of integrating these in an uncertain, fear filled environment - our speakers will consider how the experiences of men from all backgrounds are limited by "toxic masculinity".

We will also ask if men can learn to be vulnerable with each other, and whether women want men who are not afraid of vulnerability. As men themselves begin to engage with the problem of masculinity, how do their own needs and expectations change? And, as our ideals of masculinity get reviewed, how will we frame the need for fathers to be intimately connected with their sons? How is the therapeutic encounter affected by this new paradigm and consideration for the tender within the male to be expressed?


Rotimi Akinsete
Rotimi Akinsete is a therapeutic counsellor and clinical supervisor with extensive experience in community and NHS counselling services. He is founder and director of Black Men on the Couch, a special interest project focussing on psychotherapy and identity politics of African and Caribbean men and boys... More >>

Michael Boyle
Michael Boyle is a facilitator, leadership consultant and student of mythology. He has an MA in psychotherapy from City University and has worked in several prisons including as a facilitator for the Inside Circle project at Folsome prison, Sacramento USA. He is a certified leader and leader trainer for the ManKind Project (, a global men's network and is the founder of the award winning charity, Abandofbrothers, a rites of passage and mentoring programme for disaffected youth. ( Read more...

Professor Stephen Briggs
Stephen Briggs is Professor of Social Work at the University of East London, and Honorary Professor, University of Nottingham. He is a Member of the Tavistock Society of Psychotherapists and a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences. He was formerly Consultant Social Worker in the Adolescent Department, Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust... Read more...

Dr Mick Collins
Dr Mick Collins has had a diverse career since leaving school at 15 years, including working as a builder's labourer, infantryman and heavy goods truck driver. In 1977 he spent six years travelling and working around the world, which became a valuable cross-cultural education for him. In 1983 Mick went to live in a UK based Tibetan Buddhist Monastic College for three years, where he had a deep awakening experience, which catalysed a spiritual crisis. It took over two years to work through the epicentre of this intense and overwhelming transformational encounter. However, the spiritual crisis also activated a process of individuation that resulted in him finding his vocation as a health professional.... Read more...

Tamsin Cottis
Tamsin Cottis is a UKCP registered Integrative Child Psychotherapist. She is a co-founder and former Assistant Director of Respond, the UK's leading provider of psychotherapy to children and adults with learning disabilities, including those with sexually harmful behaviour... Read more...

Nick Duffell
Nick Duffell studied Sanskrit before becoming a carpenter; after a breakdown, he re-trained as psychotherapist. He has led men's groups since 1987 and co-founded the Centre for Gender Psychology in 1996. He now calls himself a psychohistorian, promoting a depth-psychology perspective of issues that affect public life very deeply, like identity and emotions, fear and vulnerability... Read more...

Anthony Howell
Anthony Howell is a poet and novelist. His first book of poems, Inside the Castle, was published in 1969. In 1986 His poems have appeared in The New Statesman, The Spectator and The Times Literary Supplement. Articles on visual art, dance, performance and poetry have appeared in many publications including The Fortnightly Review, Art Monthly, The London Magazine, and Harpers & Queen. He is a Hawthornden fellow and in 1997 he was short-listed for a Paul Hamlyn Award for his poetry... Read more...

Tim Foskett
Tim Foskett is an individual and group psychotherapist with over 20 years experience of working with people and groups. He is accredited by the UK Association of Humanistic Psychology Practitioners and the UK Council for Psychotherapy. He is a director of Loving Men and a Clinical Associate with Pink Therapy. He has trained in Person-Centred and Existential counselling and groupwork at City University, Counselling Psychology at PHYSIS and Humanistic Integrative Psychotherapy at Spectrum... Read more...


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Handouts and lunch included
Self-funded: £130
Self-funded x 2: £220
Organisationally-funded: £240
Psychotherapy trainee: £80 (sold out)
This event + the online module Fragile Selves: £230

CPD Hours

Certificates of attendance for 9 hours will be provided at the event

6th Floor
Foyles Bookshop
107 Charing Cross Road

18.00 Registration
18.30 Start
22:00 End

09.30 Registration and coffee
10.00 Start
11:30 Coffee
13:30 Lunch
15:15 Tea
17:00 End