Counseling with Men
We all bring things from our past with us wherever we go – pain, wounds, fear, anger, “bad” relationships, inadequate parents, and on and on. If we don’t get to know those parts of ourselves they will weigh us down and steer the course of our lives.
Unintentionally, we may pass them on to those around us – leaking out our pain or fear in sarcasm, co-dependency, apathy, depression, anger, righteousness and a hundred other sideways retributions we engage in. We will pass them on to our children as anger, judgment, controlling-ness; just the way they were passed down to us. We will beat ourselves up with anxiety, self-judgment and never being good enough. You probably know men who have lived their whole lives like this or maybe you are a man like that.
All that gets tangled up with trying to live up to a socially defined masculine role model that says men need to be strong, invulnerable, together, in control, aloof, and cool. In trying to meet those expectations many men ignore or no longer hear that still, small voice that tells when something is not quite right.
Many men wait until something happens – maybe someone has given you an ultimatum. Or maybe you have lashed out emotionally or physically against someone. Maybe you’ve considered or have attempted suicide. Maybe you’re sick of living what seems to have become a meaningless life. Maybe you have isolated yourself from friends and/or family. Or maybe you no longer know what you’re doing in your life or why.
Maybe you’ve decided that the cost is too high to keep doing things the same way. Somehow, you’ve found yourself on this page, on this website. The message here is that there is hope; you can change things for yourself. You can reclaim those parts of yourself – passion for living, self-worth, connection, meaning, and mission – that seem to have fallen away. It is possible to heal your past and change your present.
Different men want different things from counseling and there are many ways to get there. What all therapy has in common is that the client has to want things to be different. Change is usually not easy or comfortable. And what’s taken twenty, thirty or more years to put in place won’t be changed overnight. The therapeutic relationship is crucial; there needs to be a level of trust and openness between client and therapist. The client needs to be willing to look at those parts of his life that he least wants to examine.
I have worked with men on many different of issues; relationships, depression, burnout, identity issues, mid-life concerns, existential crises, workplace issues, work/life balance, anger management, anxiety, suicide, PTSD, and dealing with a history of childhood sexual abuse, emotional abuse, physical abuse or neglect.
Courage is the quality of acting in the face of fear. It takes courage to go on this journey. If you recognize yourself if these words, if you are ready to dive into your life, if you are ready to face the parts of yourself that you don’t want to face, then maybe it’s time to give me a call.