Despite the fact that we live in a society that appears to be dominated by men in powerful positions, the reality is that many individual men do not feel empowered in their lives. Male psychic pain is not always obvious. Many men do suffer from depression and anxiety-related disorders, but often it is manifested in the various forms of addiction, violence, interpersonal conflict, and general irritability.
- Do the words ‘Boys don’t cry’ have a strong meaning in your life?
- Have you ever been unable to describe how you were feeling, or had difficulty relating to your own emotional state?
- Do people sometimes describe you as aloof, explosive, unemotional, or high-strung?
For some men the best way to address what ails is through self empowering approaches, therapeutic approaches that draw on your own internal resources, and are based on hard logic and scientific practices, others prefer to take value based or soul centric approaches, I often find that a healthy fusion of approaches results in the most effective growth and development:
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy can be an excellent approach to addressing depression or anxiety concerns, as well as self defeating behavior patterns.
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy draws on the process of clarifying and your core values, and relating them to events and actions that trigger behaviors in order to develop more adaptive responses to stress and negative events. It allows you to address the underlying wounds that contribute to addiction, anger and conflict by analyzing behaviors and creating healthy responses that align with the person you truly want to be.
Archetypal Work: Jung spoke of archetypes as universal patterns of behavior and intention. Archetypes are imbedded in the images, art, myths, religions, or dreams of every culture, and their patterns can manifest in childlike simplicity, and can evolve through both healthy and unhealthy growth. Many men in western society do not grow up with healthy examples of the mature masculine archetypes, traditionally passed down from elders through inter-generational contact that has become far less common. The masculine archetypes are as much a part of being a responsible man in the 21st century as they were for a roman centurion before the common era. By exploring how these universal components are balanced within your life you can begin to embrace your authentic self, and to promote a balanced and healthy way of being in the world.