Method: A qualitative-phenomenological study was conducted. Forty-eight Israeli clients of domestic violence centers participated in the intervention program for six months and took part in comprehensive in-depth interviews in which common themes were identified via content analysis.
Results: The current presentation will focus on two main changes in the clients' perceived ways of achieving masculinity: 1) Losing a sense of manhood when entering the intervention; the participants described how they perceived the intervention as a feminine environment which threatened their manhood and caused them distress. 2) The therapy brings about a recognition of the price men pay for enacting traditional masculinity norms. Towards the later part of the therapy, participants expressed their newfound understanding of how using traditional gender norms brought much pain and destruction into their lives.
Conclusions and Implications: The presentation will discuss the implications of the conflict between IPV clients' perceptions of failing to achieve masculinity, when entering a batterer intervention program, and the therapists' expectations that these men adopt more "feminine" behaviors. In addition, we will discuss the theoretical explanation for how men's use of power and control to attain inner coherence may serve as the basis not only for their enactment of IPV but also as a potential basis for new nonviolent problem solving strategies in intimate relationship. In addition, in the presentation we will suggest gender-sensitive interventions for men who participate in batterer programs.