It seems a day doesn’t go by without hearing about another suicide on the news, from a friend or a client who’s either dealing with the pain of loss or worse, having suicidal thoughts.
As a therapist I help clients deal with the devastating effects of death and the loss that accompanies it on a regular basis. I’m also trained and qualified to help clients who may be dealing with losing someone to suicide or are having suicidal thoughts themselves.
I, like most of you, have been directly affected by suicide and lost someone very close to me. Not only was I shocked and full of sadness, I was angry and raw with emotion. Losing a loved one to suicide can leave you broken. I understand. It’s not fair and it’s at times unexpected. (more…)
To all the fathers out there who are committed to be the best DAD they can be.
When I refer to fathers in my blogs, I also emphasize and stress the importance of being a “responsible, healthy and safe role model.” More and more fathers are asking me “how do I be a good dad?” My answer is simple, I tell them “be present your son needs you!” (more…)
When Tom Roten of The Tom Roten Morning Show called to ask if I’d like to come on his show and talk about the 30-year-old man whose parents were imploring the court to help them “boot him” out of the house, I quickly responded ABSOLUTELY!
Though I cover the topic of having “an exit plan” for your son regularly, Tom knows just how important it is. Not only because he has four boys of his own, he is dedicated to improving lives and the work I do in The Quest Project. You can listen to our conversation here. (more…)
Spring and summer are my favorite seasons; the days are longer, and the sun shines brighter! However, I know for many parents this time of year can be chaotic because SCHOOLS OUT! Where’s my son, and what’s he doing!
School’s Out for Summer
So here it is barely Spring time and the kids are getting out of school. What have you planned with your son? Are you going to take a vacation, maybe you planted a garden or have a spring/summer project to do together?
I can already hear many of you saying, “Oh sure, I can’t get the kids to help me with anything!” (more…)
The “Yes…but” Game
Do you play the “yes…but” game at your house? Too many times parents are quick to “move on” if their child has done something wrong. “Yes, I wrecked the car mom…but it wasn’t my fault!”
There’s no accountability!
Let’s start with a simple, clear definition of accountability:
“the quality or state of being accountable; especially an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility or to account for one’s actions”
Every parent has hopes and dreams for their child; a fantasy! You looked at your newborn boy and saw endless possibilities. He’ll be a doctor, star athlete, CEO of a corporation or President of the United States!
The problem with this kind of thinking is that there is usually—in fact, always—a difference between this fantasy son you’ve created in your mind and the actual, flesh-and-blood son you have in real life.
To get parents thinking about the difference between their expectations for their son and the reality of who he is, I put together this exercise.
Grab a piece of paper and a pen. (more…)
This is dedicated to all the Mom’s out there who are raising son(s)!
Thanks To Mom
If you’re a single Mom, you don’t need me to tell you how hard it is raising kids alone. Most mom’s I talk to feel they are filling the role of dad too. You are most likely working a full-time job, taking care of the kids, cooking, cleaning and running a million errands; there aren’t enough hours in the day!
Suddenly amid everything else your son (at approximately age 11+) acts like he can’t stand to be around you. At times you feel like he hates your guts.
There’s a biological reason why this is happening. (more…)
I’ve witnessed a fair number of parents lately making the decision to “shield” their son from tragedy, death, divorce; basically, anything that may cause sadness. It’s unhealthy, it prevents him from feeling/having empathy, let me explain why.
What Is Empathy?
Psychology Today says it like this:
Empathy is the experience of understanding another person’s condition from their perspective. You place yourself in their shoes and feel what they are feeling. Empathy is known to increase pro-social (helping) behaviors.
Empathy is an important feeling and when we protect kids from experiencing it; they become numb to what someone else is going through. They simply don’t care. (more…)
Honored to have my work recognized by Capella in this recent interview!
Counseling Professional Deepens Expertise with a PhD
Some people might wonder why Clayton Lessor* bothered to get a PhD.
A licensed professional counselor in St. Louis, Missouri, he already had a successful career in private practice, as well as numerous speaking and consulting gigs.
“I wanted to get a PhD because it opens doors,” Lessor explains. “In my field, master’s degrees are a dime a dozen. So a PhD can help set you apart.”
*Actual Capella graduate who agreed to appear in promotional materials for Capella.
Last week I explained “rite-of-passage” and the important processes an adolescent boy goes through to become an initiated man. Now let’s cover what being an initiated man means!
Initiation to Manhood
Adolescence ranges from 11-18 years of age. According to theorist, this stage of life is crucial; it gives individuals the challenge of establishing an identity, which can lead to a positive self-concept. It is not uncommon for boys to experience a surge of aggression during their adolescent years.
Many cultures offer boys challenges that enable them to find their identities and learn responsible behavior. The initiation by male elders help the boys move from their mother’s world to their father’s world.
As civilization developed (Industrial Revolution) and grew more complicated, more situations arose (long work hours, traveling for work, divorce etc.) where the father’s teaching role was taken over by others.
The fundamental problem in the continuation of a decent life everywhere in the world is the question of the socialization of young males. (more…)