Hello Everyone! Welcome to my first blog post!
My goal is to use this weekly blog as a way to write about the things I’ve learned over many years as a Marriage & Family Therapist who has specialized in working with male clients of all ages, backgrounds, and relationship status.
That phrase “working with male clients” in therapy is a unique situation because if you were to ask almost any guy if he has ever been in therapy himself, he will more than likely give you a sideways comment of “Are you kidding? Only crazy people get into therapy.”
For the clients I end up seeing, it usually goes something like this: A guy will come in to see me because his girlfriend or wife has gotten so desperate and frustrated with his lack of emotional awareness that she gives him the ultimatum to “Either go see that therapist guy (me) to learn how to talk about your feelings, or else I’m outa here!”
The not-so-good-news about this scenario is that this guy’s motivation to “change” is coming from his fear of losing the relationship. He feels apprehensive at first because he knows he has a big ol’ blindspot in his self-awareness about how to connect with her emotionally. This is tough enough for him to admit to himself, much less admit to some other guy he doesn’t know or trust yet.
The good news about this scenario is that once he sees how therapy can help him learn how to deal with his relationship blindspots, he also discovers how becoming a more real and authentic guy — not only feels loving to her — but it also helps him courageously live his life with self-respect and integrity as a man!
Years ago I chose to specialize as a therapist to work with men because I woke up one day in my mid-30’s to discover that I myself as a guy was brainwashed in so many ways to ignore an important piece of my human personality, i.e., my emotional world, in order to live up to some old-school version of what it meant to “be a man” that my father passed down to me from his father and grandfather.
This outdated 20th century model of traditional masculinity taught me to:
♦ Avoid knowing and showing my authentic feelings.
♦ This kept me very ignorant and clueless about the feelings of others.
♦ It also made me function in my adult life like an immature Little Boy trapped in the body of an adult man.
♦ And it taught me that this lack of emotional maturity was a crucial characteristic of the old definition of “masculine identity”.
You’ve GOT to be kidding me, right?!?
This is such a low bar for us as men by which to define
“masculinity” for the 21st century.
MEN….the world desperately needs us to become more emotionally mature in order to partner with women to make the world a safer place for us all to walk around in.
When I finally figured this picture out, it lit a fire in me to want to help other men see how important it is for us to “grow up” by becoming more emotionally honest.
For all of the personal experiences that have taught me crucial lessons about my own masculine identity, I consider it a privilege to do this work as a therapist with men. It has also inspired me to write the book that I recently published titled:
How Healthy Masculinity Will Transform
Your Life, Your Relationships, and the World
My hope is that over time, this blog will paint a picture for you not only about how we as men got stuck in this prison of immaturity, but also about how we can get free of it in order to become a bigger and better version of ourselves.