The inspiration for my work as a therapist grew out of my own struggle and growth as a man. Both from within the culture as well as in our families, men learn stale and limiting beliefs about manhood. These beliefs, maintained through fear and shame, make it difficult to be ourselves, to recognize our vulnerabilities and to connect genuinely with ourselves and others.
While feminism has opened the door for what it means to be a woman, straight men in particular have experienced no such opening. In fact, the outlook for some men has become more depressing. Our poor economy has left many men robbed of the hope and pride we experience from feeling successful and providing for our families.
I have facilitated a men’s group for fathers for more than ten years. The experience of men connecting in a genuine way, recognizing common struggles, and finding support, is powerful. I have experienced the importance of unleashing men’s hidden longings and passion. Men often find a sense of relief, rejuvenation, and newfound abilities to assert themselves effectively in love, work, and friendship.