424 – Engaging Fathers Toward Empowered Involvement: An Examination of Theory and Counseling Practice


Media Format: Audio CD

SKU: WC19-WK424C Category:


We are experiencing a cultural crisis involving manhood and fathering. Fathering advocates
contend that difficulties including men in family services may be reflective of a larger societal
trend. Dollahite and Hawkins (1998) describe a deficit perspective of fathers that concentrates
more on men?۪s failures and shortcomings than on the many ways they meaningfully contribute
to the lives of their children. In contrast with this limited view, proponents of the generative
fathering framework uphold the high calling of fatherhood and believe it is something that men
are capable of, called to do, and ultimately benefit from (Brotherson, Dollahite, & Hawkins,
2005). Generative fathering is driven by enduring consideration of children?۪s developmental
needs and corresponding paternal responsibilities. Fathering draws from, and expresses an
essential part of, men?۪s identities by providing them an opportunity to steward their energy
and time toward the betterment of their offspring in ways that promote children?۪s
development, facilitate personal generativity, and strengthen intergenerational bonds. The call
for more ???father friendly?۝ services has spurred the development of a prescriptive literature that
is focused on identifying best practices and general recommendations for clinicians and
programs that seek to be more receptive to paternal involvement. When clinicians are
deliberate about cultivating relationships with fathers and are explicit in conveying a high
regard for the contribution they make to their children?۪s well-being, men are more likely to take
an active role in services for their children (Berlyn, Wise, & Soriano, 2008; Frank, Keown,
Dittman, & Sanders, 2014; Panter-Brick et al., 2014). To shift the paradigm on fathering to one
that is more biblically aligned, more hopeful, and more inclusive, this session examines
prevailing views of fatherhood along with the more father-affirming conceptual ethic of
generative fathering (Dollahite & Hawkins, 1998).

Presented by: Steve Warren, Ph.D. & Jeffrey Boatner, B.A., M.A.

Learning Objectives
Participants will:

  1. Development of an enriched, biblically-aligned, father-affirming perspective that both promotes and maximizes paternal engagement
  2. Help counselors understand the importance of involving fathers in counseling for children and adolescents
  3. Practice and discuss activities that apply presentation content