Austin Group Psychotherapy Society
Friday Night Conversation
Women and Aggression in Group
Hosted by Jennifer Bilbrey, LPC
On her way back from lunch with a group of men from work, my client felt excited. She had just landed a job at a tech start-up and was invited to go to lunch with the men on the spur of the moment. She and her four male colleagues all geeked out about their favorite comic books and video games as they laughed and amused each other. As the conversation continued, the four men commented on an attractive woman passing by on the street; to my client it was objectifying but not creepy. Instantly her excitement faded; in its place came fear and shame.
How would you respond in her shoes? How as a therapist would you help her understand what happened? Most importantly for our conversation, how does your own identity and privilege -- or lack thereof -- inform your response inside yourself and with your clients?
In my clinical experience, women working in the tech industry in Austin are often high-functioning, high-achieving employees who internalize toxic messages around gender norms.
Perhaps they are the only women in the room where bro culture runs rampant. For the purpose of our conversation together, I’m interested in hearing from other therapists working with women with similar experiences. To have these conversations, we as therapists must be willing to examine our own histories and biases. Maybe you’re a man reading this and wondering, “what’s the problem?”. No matter our age or position, we must be thinking about this and talking to each other so that we can help these women become more and have more.
1. What ideas were you taught growing up around being assertive or aggressive?
2. How did these ideas influence your beliefs about gender?
3. Have you ever had an “aha” moment when you realized sexism exists – and inside you as well?
Jennifer runs a private practice in Austin working with adult individuals and couples, and she leads adult process groups. Working with modern analytic individual, couples, and group therapists has transformed her life and she works in this model with her clients. She is also a student at the Center for Group Studies.
In person event. Location given at registration
Charge: There is no charge for this event.
Austin Group Psychotherapy SocietyP.O. Box 684434Austin, TX 78768-4434
An Affiliate Society of the American Group Psychotherapy Association