Division 51 seeks to recognize and promote pathways for boys and men to live healthy and positive lives, and also to identify and redress the effects of restrictive masculinities. We do this through psychological science, education, advocacy, and clinical practice. In doing so, we aim to promote equality for people of all genders.
Dr. Chen Oren shares his perspectives.
When did you join Division 51? What made you interested in joining?
I joined Division 51 around 2003. My mentor and friend, Mark Stevens, introduced me to the division, retreat, and board meetings. I quickly found a home in the division and established personal and professional relationships motivating me to be more involved in the division and the study and practice of men and masculinity. I became a board member, conference chair in 2007, San Francisco (highlighted by the collaboration with division 35 and Jean Kilbourne as keynote speaker), and treasurer for 4 years. I resonated with the focus of understanding the needs of men and how to best support, help, and conduct effective therapy with men. I enjoyed reading, writing, attending, and presenting at conferences as well as helping men in my private practice.
What do you find most valuable about being a member of the division?
I most value the balance between professional and personal life at the division. I enjoyed the comradery and friends I developed during division retreats, conferences, and meetings, including Mark Stevens, Fred Rabinowitz, Matt Englar-Carlson, and Danny Singley to name a few. The ability to be vulnerable, share, and hear intimate aspects of other men's lives, while also having the opportunity to collaborate and grow as a professional by writing, presenting, and working with men has been a great experience for me.
What are your clinical, teaching, research, or other applied interests relating to the psychology of men and masculinity?
Initially while I was teaching, I focused on gender and male socialization. I also presented and researched positive psychology and men, the experience of male psychology students, and fathering. My wife, Dora Chase Oren and I co-edited the book Counseling Fathers, 2010, with contributions from many of our division members. When my children reached elementary school age, I shifted my focus and career to full time private practice so I can spend more time and be more involved in my children’s lives. I have been applying the research and theoretical knowledge I gained to my clinical practice. A large percentage of my private practice consists of men in different formats including individual, couples, and group therapy. I have been co-facilitating a men’s group with Mark Stevens for almost 15 years which is one of the highlights of our week.