Terry Real is a contemporary psychotherapist specializing in men's issues, particularly depression and relationships. 

Professional Life

Terry Real is a family therapist and author who focuses on men’s issues and couples therapy. After struggling to overcome his own issues with depression, he published the book I Don't Want to Talk About It, which addresses the unique ways men cope with depression. The book, which became a bestseller, led Real to realize the importance of addressing this issue on a larger scale. In 2002, he founded the Relational Recovery Institute, which aims to offer healing and wholeness to men through their own resources, with the support and engagement of the parents and partners in their lives.

Real serves as a faculty member at the Family Institute of Cambridge, in Massachusetts, and he is the former director of the Gender Relations Program at the Meadows Institute in Arizona. Real maintains a private practice in Massachusetts and continues to present lectures on relationship issues and to teach men how to achieve a fully rewarding and satisfying life.

Real has been recognized by his peers as a pioneer in bringing to light the often understated and hidden psychological issues that face men in and out of relationships. He has been featured on national television programs and has had his work with male clients made into a documentary titled All Men Are Sons.

Contribution to Psychology

In his work with men struggling with depression, Real came to understand that depression sometimes manifests differently in men than in women and that depression can go unrecognized for much longer as a result. Men may mask their depression with anger, workaholism, and drugs, such as alcohol. Real terms this “covert depression.”

In his work with couples, Real aims to help couples establish better communication and relationship strategies. He is often cited for his exclamation, “Sarcasm eats intimacy.” He emphasizes helping both men and women embrace empathy, closeness, and healthy communication strategies, and argues that social norms often thwart healthy relationships strategies, particularly among men. 

Books by Terry Real:

  • I Don't Want to Talk About It: Overcoming the Secret Legacy of Male Depression (1998)
  • How Can I Get Through to You? Closing the Intimacy Gap Between Men and Women (2002)
  • The New Rules of Marriage: What You Need to Know to Make Love Work (2008)

Terry Real Featured on GoodTherapy.org

In March, 2011 Terry Real presented "The New Rules of Marriage," a GoodTherapy.org continuing education web conference available to clinicians for CE credits.