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Posted by on Sep 28, 2015 in From Boy to Man | 0 comments

Taking My Life Back


Continuing the story of my life and how my experiences led me to become a counselor by taking my life back.

This Isn’t What I Need

Initially, my therapy was like talking to a good friend.  In fact, I honestly didn’t think it was for me.  I saw two different female counselors.  Basically, both assured me “everything would be alright.”  A “BANDAID” (extremely co-dependent and mothering)!  That’s not what I needed; I felt better, but I wasn’t growing I needed more than just to talk; I NEEDED TO DO SOMETHING.

This Is It – Working Hard

I realized that I needed a male therapist, a mentor, someone that I could relate to.  I needed someone who would make me work on myself, not just show up to talk.  Males NEED “to do!”  I found a male counselor who specialized in work with men and he was exactly what I was looking for.  He put me to work, I did group work with other men; hard work to heal the deep wound that was burdening me and my life.  Over the next couple of years, I would learn exactly what had to be done.  I spent an entire year “re-parenting” myself by research, reading parenting books, retreats and a regimen of homework from my therapist.  I learned to do and give myself what my parents didn’t.

I was healing.  I began to put meaning to the suffering.  I realized that my troubled past would guide me to make the decision that I wanted to help others, especially young boys carrying wounds from their fathers.  I accepted that my dad was a gift in my life.  His abuse and inability to be a good father would make me want to be a better man and teach other young men.

Change Is Good

My entire life and career would change.  I discovered and formulated my mission: to create healthy lifestyles by teaching, facilitating, and example.  I returned to school to get my Masters degree in Counseling.  I felt better than I had in years.  In my quest to heal myself, I found I could help others, and that was rewarding!  I was working closely with Dr. Sam Marwit on grief work; Role of Deceased Mentors in the Ongoing Lives of Protégés,  published in Omega: Journal of Death and Dying.  I spent enormous amounts of time doing research and development.  I traveled the country to meet with and co-facilitate various teen programs, constantly learning and growing.

I’m On The Right Path

I opened my first office in 1996.  At that time, much of my time was spent co-facilitating group work with adults as well as adolescent boys.  It was soon after The Quest Project would begin to evolve.  I had taken not only my personal experience but the knowledge and research I had accumulated, and I knew exactly how to help these young boys in their transition to becoming men.

I highly recommend and encourage anyone needing therapy to find a therapist who you can relate to.  It’s not only okay to take the time to do that, but it can also be imperative to your progress.  Have you had a similar experience, please share your comments?

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Clayton Lessor
Clayton Lessor, PhD in education and counseling, is a Licensed Professional Counselor in private practice. He is author of "Generation of Men: How to raise your son to be a healthy man among men" and “Saving Our Sons: A Parent's Guide to Preparing Boys for Success." Dr. Clay has seen over 2000 boys since 2000 and facilitated over 300 The Quest Project groups. Boys attend a 10-week "boys to men program" where they and their parents will learn the tools needed to get through these turbulent teen years. Dr. Clay is a member of the Steering Committee for The Coalition to Create a White House Council for Boys and Men.
Clayton Lessor
Clayton Lessor

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