Men and Grief

Men have a difficult time with grief; this is an understatement. Anger is much easier for men to access. Moreover, boys and adolescents have this problem as well. Where do they learn these unfortunate habits? Why from men of course. The old John Wayne, Clint Eastwood, Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger stereotyped behaviors die hard. Therefore, young men even today struggle with impressing the girls and women they date and/ or marry. Unfortunately, they stuff feelings, rarely cry in public or private and get angry more than grieve the natural losses that we all face. Death, loneliness, defeat on the playing field or on the job--being fired, quitting , being humiliated by bosses or colleagues, all are sources of grief and sadness and ought to be given the privilege of expressing grief safely. However, no where in our society are there rituals for everyday losses which may be far worse than physical deaths in boy's and men's lives.

My job as a Psychotherapist of 30 years is to help young men and middle age men to grieve these losses in a safe and secure environment. There are rituals that I use to help my clients or patients to deal with these earth shattering losses in very meaningful ways. Virtually none of my male clients have ever felt shame or embarrassment by the processes that I employ which have been used by countless other therapists as well. There are national and international men's organizations that have successfully used the same therapy methods that I use. Many of these organizations emphasize "rites of passage" for boys and men which have been around for thousands of years. Cultures the world over have used these methods to facilitate the processing of male grief and loss for centuries.

If boys and men can grieve successfully, they are less likely to abuse substances, turn to violence with other men and women as well. There is a correlation between being able to express anger, rage and grief successfully and a recidivism in prisons and other institutions. Male mental health improves and a greater sense of connection to one's fellow man and woman increase.

Allow me to help you learn ways to open your heart and mind and free yourself from harmful habits like unresolved loss and grief.

©2010, Michael Shaffran

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Mike Shaffran is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Psychotherapist with over 30 years experience in the mental health profession. He's worked most of his time in outpatient Psychiatric clinics where he has provided individual, couples/marital, family and group therapy. He is trained in multiple therapies, including: Psycho-dynamic, Gestalt,Structural-Strategic Family, Solution focused, Brief Therapy, and other methods. He is trained in EMDR ( a type of therapy for PTSD), hypnosis, meditation and guided imagery also. Mike is committed to ongoing seminars, workshops and trainings to keep current with the latest therapy to provide the best services possible to his clients. www.sanluisobispotherapy.com or E-Mail

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