The work that I do with men is very much grounded in the present moment. Most of the problems that we experience are byproducts of living in the past, in memories about how things used to be (for better or for worse) or in the future, where things look better than they do now. Happiness, change and personal and relationship success all lie in living in the present moment, and developing present-moment awareness about how to access the feelings and emotions that come up in that moment.
In working with men, the present moment is often difficult to experience. Men tend to hide their feelings, or not be in touch with them at all. Men I work with tend to have found residence in their heads, which makes their problems worse. There is an unconscious tendency to try to figure out or fix problems from the head, which doesn’t always seem to work. If it did work, we wouldn’t need therapy.
To experience the present moment, feelings can slowly surface and find the light they need to burn away. Fear, pain, anger, sadness – all want to run their natural courses, which in an organic sense is to process and to leave. But, because we learned poor coping skills (defense mechanisms) to deal with those very painful experiences, we do not have the experience of the present moment and keep those feelings frozen and stored away, where they don’t reach the light of day and melt away.
Counseling with me is an experiential process, because I work from a framework called Gestalt Therapy. IT’s a little different than just talk therapy, because it is learning from experience in the present moment. Gestalt Therapy works with the present moment as it unfolds in the therapy transaction, often through experiments in the session. It is effective at helping clients “get out of their heads” and into their experience of living, where the pain resides and true transformation can be had.