Prescribed and Preferred Self

Stream: Gendered Constructions: Critical Assessment and Tools for Change
Date: Thursday, 12 February 2015
Time: 11.00 am – 12.45 pm


This visual presentation will outline the notion of the Prescribed Self which represents for a man on an MBCP all those taken for granted presumptions about life from which he realtes to women and children. For example for many men part of the Prescribed self could be 'Always get your point across' from which he relates to his partner with little consideration of the consequences for her. The Preferred Self lives alongside the Prescibed Self and will be less well known. It represents his ethical strivings. the fact that he feels 'bad' when he hurts his loved ones is proof of the existence of Preferred Self These two constructs when initially introduced are unfamiliar yet once explained men readily embrace them - to resist Prescribed and embrace the Preferred We use another floor mat that invites the man to enter his partner's experience Presnted in a visual form via a large floor mat men are introduced to other constructs and language that are deconstructive of his taken for granted 'truths' about life -Dangerous Ideas are juxtaposed to Helpul Ideas, Lovemakers with Troublemakers These juxtapositions provide men with a place to stand and also a richer language to describe their experiences


Rob Andrew (Presenter), Relationships australia
I manage the WA Relationships Australia Domestic violence Services. I have workd in MBCP's programmes for eighteen years.

My main interest is in how we might engage men in MBCP in ways that will make a greater difference for women and children hence the recent refinements to the mats

These mats are informed by the practices of narrative therapy and the Invitational practices of Alan Jenkins