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Specializing in Working with Men
Is it harder to move men into relationship recovery than woman?
I think men have a different take on relationships than woman. Men are raised in such a way that they have a different set of belief systems, emotional responses and values within relationships.
Understanding this dynamic and how it contributes to unhelpful patterns is critical for success. Men have different language for relationships and often need a different kind of coaching to engage in this process.
I speak a language that helps men open up more and allows them to take responsibility for their behaviors in such a way that the relationship can gain a new momentum towards recovery and you both can experience the best out of one another.
(The truth is we all have unhelpful behaviors)
I help men to find their words in difficult conversations and learn how to respond to their partners communication with more understanding.
Obviously there are a lot of men out there who naturally get this and don't need any help being more emotionally tuned into their partners.
But the vast majority of us just have never been taught the skills and tact to handle emotional conflict and that's not gender specific, that's everyone.
Here is how I focus on with men in relationship recovery.
Teaching relationship skills
Most of us have never been taught how to get through relationship conflict without doing damage to the relationship.I teach partners everything they need to know about the rules of having a successful relationship.Most men I see know there is a problem and they are looking for way out of the conflict.I give them the tools to get there.
How to express more
Most men have never been taught to value their feelings. In fact most men are taught through our western masculinity to have very little value for expressing their feelings.
The locker room code, competitive attitudes and distinct distaste for talking out their emotions has left our men in a poor position when it comes to sharing our feelings.
Turning knowledge into integration
Theory is great and I often say that you can go out and purchase three or four of the top relationship books and you will probably say to yourself I know this or this is common sense
.The challenge is as soon as you are hijacked emotionally we all loose our common sense and move into defending ourselves.
The two main areas I teach men with integration is with 'expression of our feelings with greater skill' and the second area is 'responding to their partners with more heart felt listening'.
Moving into connection
Moving men into greater connection, vulnerability and love with their partners can be a difficult task when damage has accumulated in the relationship..I coach men sometimes for the very first time into tackle that uncomfortable, uncertain and risky feelings.
How to respond
Responding to one another is especially important during high conflict conversations.Teaching men who have trouble with their words to give appropriate feedback is essential to the recovery in relationship. Often both partners struggle with giving reassuring feedback in those conversations and that is because we are pulled into defending ourselves
What separates me from most traditional marriage counsellors is that I will roll up my sleeves and get in there with you and by that I mean I give feedback and coach partners what to say, what not to say.I establish rules and focus on each individual within their relationship.
Creating higher self-esteem
Breathing in a sense of abundance during difficult conversations allows us to stay the course even if our partner doesn't.
I teach partners how to remind themselves when their partner is off and not to take their words as personal. Men often get stuck in the bad dynamic of feeling bad about themselves if they offend their partners and can shut down. Teaching men to pull themselves into greater self-esteem gives them the confidence to stay in difficult conversations.
The soul of relationship recovery rests in the ability for couples to simultaneously step out harmful patterns and into healthy dialogue.
Ken is a certified psychotherapist that specializes in a powerful approach called Gestalt Therapy that focuses on building a person's awareness, self-esteem and mind-body connection.READ MORE