Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry (DMin)




Martin Luther University College

First Advisor

Peter VanKatwyk

Advisor Role

Dissertation Supervisor


The researcher uses a qualitative research methodology to answer the question: “What helps and hinders a man’s relationship with his children?” Men, their partners, and their children are interviewed using a semistandardized interview. Transcribed interviews are coded and data are divided into general categories. The theme “being there” emerges as the descriptive phrase used by men, women and children to describe the task of fathering. “Being there” is contrasted to the parental “otherness” that characterizes unhealthy fathering practices. The researcher presents an understanding of reconciliation as “Downing the Otherness,” the process necessary to nurture intimacy between fathers and their children. The findings suggest that there are four general landscapes—cognition, affect, communication, and action—where a man can find roadblocks to intimacy and opportunities for “being there” for his children. A psychoeducational program for fathers in therapy is proposed along with a list of tasks and strategies helpful for fathers wanting to “be there” for their children.

Convocation Year


Convocation Season