Counseling for Men

About Counseling for Men

If we could examine the hearts and souls of the over 150 million men in this country, we would be alarmed by the profound sense of confusion, pain, and loss so many of us experience on a daily basis. Unfortunately, the same conditions that give rise to a man's wounds also keep them deeply hidden. Our culture is notoriously intolerant of vulnerability, and as a result many of us suffer in "manly" silence, or else deflect our pain onto the ones we hold dearest.

Men are in desperate need of guidance in healing ourselves, our families, and our communities. As a group we endure rates of sickness, accidents, substance abuse, suicide, homelessness, and violent victimization that far outpace those of women. In spite of these unsettling statistics, the majority of social services continue to be geared towards women and children, and of those that do reach men, precious few explicitly address masculinity. We know intuitively that this core experience is central to leading healthy and joyous lives, yet it continues to be ignored or, worse, distorted.

My work with men is about promoting the development of healthy, mature masculinity concurrently with treating the mental health concerns that drive us to seek therapy. I take a multifaceted approach that considers the physiological, psychological, familial, relational, social, cultural, and spiritual losses we have endured, the problematic ways we have coped with those losses, and the avenues for healing available to us. I find that working with masculinity deepens the clinical work, and vice versa. 

Common Men's Issues

Men today face a number of unique challenges. Although every man's experience is different, there are some common issues that I work with. They include:

  • Relationship issues
  • Life transitions
  • Mid- and, increasingly, quarter-life crises
  • Career concerns
  • Parenting difficulties
  • Drug and alcohol abuse
  • Sex addiction
  • Anger managment
  • Trauma

Counseling for Men and Mature Masculinity

Over my years of working with men, I have refined a model of mature masculinity that serves as a powerful guide for therapy. The benefit of this model is that it builds on the strengths of the masculine archetype without shying away from the more harmful effects of toxic masculinity. The journey towards mature masculinity involves many tasks which may include:

  • Balancing 'doing' and 'being'
  • Resolving our confusion about love and sex
  • Grieving the emotional or physical absence of our fathers
  • Confronting our deeply-rooted shame
  • Healing boyhood trauma, both disempowering and falsely empowering
  • Reconciling ambivalence towards women and children
  • Expressing power in positive ways
  • Confronting violence that we have experienced and/or committed
  • Healing from moral injury
  • Coming down from superiority, narcissism, and entitlement
  • Re-owning our vulnerability
  • Reconnecting with our bodies
  • Developing relationships with other healthy males
  • Learning the art of empathy

 

 

 

Resources on Men's Mental Health

I Don't Want to Talk About It, by Terry Real

The Warrior's Journey Home, by Jed Diamond

Knights Without Armor, by Aaron Kipnis

Beyond Anger: A Guide for Men, by Thomas Harbin