chapter  6
35 Pages

Therapist as Father

ByApril E. Fallon, Virginia Brabender

This chapter focuses on a development of an identity as a father; a discussion of the impact that their wife's pregnancy can have on the therapeutic hour; a review of some of the tensions experienced by the father-in-waiting and father of the young child; and a final consideration of the some of the technical dilemmas in the therapy. The transition to parenthood is an important transformation for a male therapist as well as for a female therapist. Recent research has identified the phenomenon of maternal gatekeeping, which refers to maternal attitudes that encourage or inhibit father's involvement in childcare. Although most couples agree that childcare and household chores should be shared, a majority of fathers say they participate equally in only half the identified childcare tasks and about one-third of the household tasks, even by their own admission. In both household and childcare tasks, husbands and wives see themselves participating more than their spouses see them contributing.