Individual counseling at Connexus is highly tailored to each client seeking our support and guidance. In order for counseling to be successful, each individual’s experience must first be grasped and understood. The chosen approach must then be used with timing and appropriateness to where the client is. A one-size-fits-all approach limits the efficacy to create the desired change for the client.
We recognize that each person has unique experiences, many of which are colored by their gender and how they have been treated and taught to see themselves. In a helping field such as counseling, there has not been adequate focus placed on segregating the differences between men and women’s experience of their world, and how these differences manifest within the counseling relationship. At Connexus, we embrace these differences and have chosen to develop a high level of expertise, especially in working with issues for men.
Due in part to the rapid pace of change and globalization of our culture, many men wonder where their place is in the world. Over the last century and especially in the last few decades, models of what it means to be a man in our culture and in the media tend to be polarized. One the one hand, men are characterized as heroes and mavericks, physically dominating and emotionally detached. At the other end of the spectrum, sensitive men are judged as weak, indecisive, “a wimp”, or a “pushover”. Traditional expressions of manhood are attacked as disrespectful or misogynistic, while men who seek to respond with open-mindedness and equality often feel emasculated and powerless. The result is that many men find themselves in a double-bind: to belong among their peers, they believe they must be tough, successful, and competitive, and sexually accomplished. Yet they also feel attacked or blamed by partners, friends, or society who accuse them of being disconnected, emotionally unavailable, or simply responsible for all manner of suffering.
This double-bind can create a severe crisis of identity, a deep feeling of powerless in the face of privilege and perceived power. For many men, deep insecurity around their masculinity causes:
- Over compensation with excessive self-promotion
- Substance abuse/addiction
- Inability to relax
- Difficulty trusting
- Severe defensiveness
- Rage and/or violence
- Chronic medical conditions such as hypertension/high blood pressure
- Debilitating feelings of impending failure
- Cycles of failed relationships
We understand that navigating the privilege and responsibilities of being a man are challenging, and encourage you to reach out for the support you deserve. While you may have been taught that asking for help means that you are broken and weak, it is actually the highest form of courage to recognize your limitations and reach out for assistance. We empower you with opportunities and strategies to increase your self-knowledge, build and sustain a deeper trust in your own power, and feel confident using your power for your own good and the good of your world.
Click below to find out more about our areas of specialization and expertise: