Work With Boys

When I first set out in private practice in 1993, I did not have an intention of specializing in working with boys. I welcomed individuals, couples, families, and children of both genders into the therapy room, and I still do. Yet, over the years, as families discovered that my down-to-earth, no-nonsense approach with their sons got positive results, word spread, and other families contacted me to work with their boys and young men.

Boys respond to my team approach, where they are not the sole focus. Instead of putting a spotlight on the boy and treating him as if he is “the problem,” I work with the whole family. I share with them that parents and boys each have work to do, and our sessions consist of getting clear on everybody’s role in this work.

Self-Empowerment Is Key

The ultimate objective of my work with boys is self-empowerment. Boys will inevitably face challenges, obstacles, and problems as they go through life, and it is parents’ job to help boys learn to manage the natural stress that results from these issues. With their parents’ help, boys will eventually learn to manage life’s challenges, obstacles, and problems on their own. Challenge by challenge, moment by moment, stage by stage, self-empowerment emerges. Over time, the boy evolves into a successful and self-managing adult.

When the family system is broken or simply not working at full capacity, boys will move from the natural stress of school and life to panic (getting into trouble) or passivity (withdrawing from life). This can manifest as boys getting into fights, skipping school, abusing drugs or sex, becoming addicted to technology, not being able to hold a job, and more. If left unaddressed, this panic or passivity can turn into helplessness and hopelessness for both boys and their parents. My goal is to help boys and their families find hope again.

Cultivating Mindsets, Fulfilling Roles

I do this by encouraging parents to foster four mindsets in their sons–a mindset of hard work, problem-solving, team, and health. These four mindsets counteract some of the more problematic aspects of modern culture that have made parenting in the 21st century particularly challenging. These aspects include technology, affluence, and a shift from an adult-centric to a child-centric culture.

I also coach parents and sons to do their work and take on their respective roles. We discover together how these roles change over the years as a boy moves from early childhood to adolescence to adulthood. A parents’ job over the course of a young man’s growing up years is to usher him progressively toward more and more independence and self-empowerment and these shifting roles enable that growth to take place.

Boys need to know what their work is and so do parents. When we engage in family therapy or life coaching together, these roles become clear. No one member of the family is in the hot seat, and everyone has a part and a place.

36 Main Street - The Mews
Stockbridge, MA 01262
(413) 298-4544

Got Questions?
Send a Message!