Expired Relational Intelligence and Play in Couple Therapy: Grappling with Dominance-Based Masculinity [Online]

Dominance-based or extremist masculinity is more prominent and visible in the face of uncertainty. Often, we are raised to relate to uncertainty through frames of individualism and the assertion of control. Such a trauma-inducing mechanism furthers a culture of dominance, which favors the few at the cost of the many. The resulting invisible, but highly organizing, relational arrangement rejects connection and fosters individualism. In this workshop, we will unpack mechanisms of domination that foster control and divisiveness in the face of uncertainty. How does it show up in our therapy practice? How might we orient our dialogues to operate at both the social and the interpersonal level to counteract the presence of domination?

In this workshop, participants will learn how to counter dominance-based practices in couple therapy with relational intelligence and play. They will be introduced to three clinical resources that they can implement right away in their practice. Participants will engage in creative play to increase their agility for complex change-making conversations. Leading writer and speaker on masculinity, Mark Greene and couple therapist, researcher, and thought leader of relational play and Collaborative-Dialogic Practices, Saliha Bava will lead this experiential workshop providing actionable practices to understand and address domination-based masculinity in couple therapy.

Learning Objectives:

  • Participants will identify the mechanisms of the man box that creates our dominance-based culture of masculinity
  • Participants will apply relational practices to unpack the man box culture within couple therapy
  • Participants will reflect on their positionality and its relationship to play, uncertainty, and control


Saliha Bava, PhD, a Couples and Family Therapist, is an Associate Professor of Marriage and Family Therapy at Mercy College. She teaches systems thinking, relational and collaborative-dialogic practices. For 20+ years, she has consulted, designed, and implemented performative/play-based and dialogic processes within organizational, community, family, learning, and research systems. She is a board member of the International Certificate Program in Collaborative-Dialogic Practices, board advisor and Associate at the Taos Institute and served on the American Family Therapy Academy Board. She has published and presented internationally on collaborative and performative perspectives, leadership, trauma, cross-cultural relationships, digital life, research, and teaching/learning, and uncertainty. Her research is focused on inclusion and cultivating relational practices for engaging emergence through play/improvisation. Dr. Bava is the co-author of The Relational Book for Parenting. And with Mark Geene co-founded ThinkPlay Partners.

Mark Greene, Keynote speaker and Author, writes and consults on diversity/inclusion, relational practices, and masculinity for organizations worldwide. Greene speaks, coaches and consults on the challenges we face as men raised in man box culture. He is the author of the groundbreaking The Little #MeToo Book for Men which has been called “a blueprint for men’s liberation.” As a Senior Editor for the Good Men Project, Greene has spent over a decade deconstructing our binary-riddled dialogues around manhood and masculinity. He is uniquely positioned to help men, individually and in organizations, create a healthier more connecting vision of masculine culture and identity. He is the founder of the Remaking Manhood community, which is dedicated to expanding the conversation about masculinity. Mark’s articles on masculinity have been shared half a million times on social media with 20 million page views. He has written and spoken about men’s issues at Salon, Shriver Report, Huffington Post, HLN, BBC, and the New York Times. Mark is also the author of Remaking Manhood, and co-author, along with Dr. Saliha Bava, of The Relational Book for Parenting.

  • March 12, 2021
    10:00 am - 1:00 pm

Saliha Bava, PhD and Mark Greene, BFA

3 CE Contact Hours

Location:   Online Event


A link will be emailed to you one day before the event. Online events are held in Eastern Standard Time (ET).

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