Should You Have Leverage Over Your Clients?

Terry Real on Why Male Grandiosity Necessitates Leverage

The idea of having leverage over a client in therapy seems like an unusual—and borderline unethical—practice. But according to relationship expert Terry Real, it’s often necessary when working with male clients.

Before getting into the concept of leverage and why it’s important, it’s first necessary to understand grandiosity, why so many men display it when they come in for treatment, and why it makes it essential for the therapist to have something the client wants.

In this clip Terry talks about grandiosity and the destructive behaviors it leads to, thus making leverage a part of the therapeutic process.



Rich Simon

Richard Simon, PhD, founded Psychotherapy Networker and served as the editor for more than 40 years. He received every major magazine industry honor, including the National Magazine Award. Rich passed away November 2020, and we honor his memory and contributions to the field every day.

Terry Real

Terry Real, LICSW, is an internationally recognized couples therapist, speaker, author, and founder of the Relational Life Institute (RLI). His latest bestseller is Us: How to Get Past You and Me to Build a More Loving Relationship. He’s also the author of I Don’t Want to Talk About It: Overcoming the Secret Legacy of Male Depression (Scribner), the straight-talking How Can I Get Through to You? Reconnecting Men and Women, and The New Rules of Marriage: What You Need to Make Love Work.