Counseling for Men

Redefining Masculinity
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“Strength is not the absence of vulnerability. Strength is knowing what your weaknesses are and working with them.

                    ― Terry Real

About Counseling for Men

If we were to examine the hearts of the over 150 million men in this country, we would be alarmed by the profound sense of pain, confusion, and disconnection so many of us experience on a daily basis. Unfortunately, the same constraints that create a man’s wounds also keep them deeply hidden. A cultural emphasis on stoicism, invulnerability, and performance propel many of us to suffer in “manly” silence, or else inflict our pain on those we hold dearest.

Men are in desperate need of help healing ourselves, our families, and, ultimately, the planet. Yet, most social and psychological services are geared towards meeting the needs of women and children.  This is despite the fact that men, in general, have higher rates of sickness, accidents, suicide, substance abuse, and violent victimization than our female counterparts. 

My aim is to help men come in from the cold, to reconnect with their own vulnerabilities, and to create relationships of significant depth. At the same time, I want to empower men to harness masculine energy for the benefit of themselves, their families, and society as a whole.  If you or a man close to you is feeling lost, confused, or disconnected, I am here to help.

Common Men’s Issues

Although each man is unique, my practice has illuminated several common issues:

  • Self-medication through drugs, alcohol, work, sex, or relationships
  • Anger, rage, and harshness
  • Social isolation, withdrawal, and shame
  • Disconnection from positive sources of personal power
  • Mid-life, and increasingly, quarter-life crises
  • Work-life balance and resolving the dilemma of showing love by providing and showing love by being present
  • Impairments in relationships and safe communication
  • Sexual concerns, including performance anxiety, erectile dysfunction, and disconnection between love and sex
  • Moral injury from perpetration
  • Recovering from violent victimization
  • Building a loving legacy
  • Parenting skills

 

Tasks of Mature Masculinity

Over the years, I have refined a model of Mature Masculinity, which I contrast with Toxic Masculinity, that serves as a roadmap for our work. I find that addressing masculinity specifically reinforces the therapeutic work, and vice-versa. These tasks include:

  • Balancing the desire to “do” with the need to “be”
  • Heal confusion between sex and love
  • Express grief over the absence of our fathers
  • Transform ambivalence towards women and children
  • Understand how we push shame away through grandiosity
  • Learn to heal shame while limiting destructive behaviors
  • Risk getting close to other men
  • Acknowledge and courageously confront hidden childhood abuse
  • Explore the origins of physical and emotional violence and commit to ending it
  • Reconnect with primal masculine energy and harness positive power

 

Reclaiming the Warrior Within

 Coming soon!

 

My Approach

The foundation of my work is an understanding of the challenge facing modern lovers. On the whole, we are wanting more from our relationships than any other time in human history. We still want the stability and comfort afforded by traditional marriages, but we now also crave emotional intimacy, intellectual stimulation, passionate sex, and spiritual connection…on into our golden years! Unfortunately, most of us are still operating under the rules that worked (or didn’t) for our parents and grandparents. We need a brand new set of skills to match our lofty vision. 

In light of this, I see myself as an emissary for a radically new kind of relationship, the intimate relationship. I believe intimacy is our birthright as humans, and that we do best when living in authentic connection. I also believe that being torn from this natural state is the single greatest environmental contribution to psychiatric and behavioral disorders.  For me, therapy is about returning to this natural state, and clearing up anything that gets in the way of authentic connection.

The relationship you want is not out of reach, but neither is it for the faint of heart. If you work with me, I’ll be asking a lot of you, but it’s not just because that’s what I think you need. It is, without a doubt, what I think you deserve.

I am trained in a variety of modalities that I integrate to create the best treatment plan for your relationship. These include Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT), Relational Life Therapy (RLT), Psychobiological Approach to Couples Therapy (PACT), and Gottman Couples Counseling. I also draw on somatic psychology, spiritual psychology, attachment research, polyvagal theory, trauma theory, multiculturalism, depth psychology, feminist psychology, and gender studies.

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If you would like to set up a free initial face-to-face consultation to see if we might be a good fit for counseling work together, please submit the form below. It may take up to 2 business days for a response. Thank you! -Hayden

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