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Dr. BEWLEY SPECIALIZES IN
MENS' PERSONAL GROWTH
ARE YOU A MAN in YOur 20's t0 50's
HEADING INTO A NEW PART OF LIFE,
But Struggling A LITTLE With HOW TO DO THAT?
You may be advancing to a new level at work, seeking a relationship or already developing a more serious relationship, or possibly navigating a new life role. Time is speeding up, and sometimes this can feel like life is already passing you by.
The mid-20’s to mid-50’s are important years. During these life stages, most men are thinking about achievement and success. This can be context dependent and it looks different for each person. However, typically it is a time of big change, big questions, and new experiences.
It can also be a time of confusion and anxiety, and that can even be true for men who have experienced strong achievements. You might be questioning whether you are building the life you really want and 'stuck' on things that never occurred. Identity related issues can arise at this time in your life, especially if you have been focusing on living a life that is pleasing to others. You may feel disconnected from your own experience or who you would like to become, and you may fear there is not 'enough time' to create the change you desire.
If YOu ArE ThinKing, "This Is ME!"
ThEn WElcOmE TO ThE Club.
YOu ArE CErtAinly NOt ThE Only OnE.
It is common to have some big questions and more than a few nerves heading into the prime years of success. These are years when careers develop, families are established, and men feel concerned to get it all “figured out.”
It is a normal, developmental process to be asking yourself these main questions:
Can I handle this pressure?
Can I find the right partner or make my relationship work?
Can I be the partner or Dad that I want to be?
Who am I?
Who can I be?
The good news is that men from the beginning of time have been making their way through these challenges, and you can, too.
MEn FrEquEntly FinD
TO BE REAlly POwErful.
It is common for men to be hesitant toward seeking therapy, as most men have been raised to keep their experience and/or struggles inward. However, with the rapidly changing dynamics of what it means to be a man in today's society, it has become increasingly apparent that men can benefit from having a professional and confidential sounding board. For many men, being able to clear space to sort things out is enough to make a big difference. Other times, professional strategies for getting past full blown anxiety or other problems is a very smart move.
As Your Confidential Sounding Board And Psychologist, I Can Help You:
Slow down the hamster cage of stressful, running thoughts
Reduce tension and increase your decision making
Address past events that might still be troubling
Improve your understanding of why relationships go the way they do in your life
This Sound Good, But I Have A Few Questions First
How can I know this will be worth my investment of time and money?
Like many investment opportunities, you cannot be 100% certain up front. But I want you to do your due diligence. Look at the possible return on investment. Look at what you stand to gain from addressing what is bothering you, and what you stand to lose if you pass up the opportunity.
If you have read this far, it is a good bet that something in your life is not working for you. Stress in your career, a pattern of relationships, feeling trapped by every fork in the road you take—or do not take. You have likely been trying to figure it out for awhile on your own, that's what we do best. However, it is not going away, and how much of your life now or later do you want this thing controlling you?
It is common for many men that I have worked with to share that they are grateful for our therapy despite initially wondering if it would be worth it.
How can I know this will stay confidential?
Confidentiality is the cornerstone on which your trust in therapy is built. If you do not trust me to keep our conversations private, than you will not open up, and therapy will not yield the results that we both want.
There are a few specific times that a psychologist is legally mandated to disclose something said in therapy, and before we ever begin, we will go over those in detail and in writing so that you can feel confident about talking to me as we go forward.
Is it a good idea to bring up the past?
Whether current stress wakes you in the night, or the history of a rough past, it’s all part of your story, for better or for worse. When you try to bury your history, it often catches up with you in ways like anxiety, irritability, or even through alcohol. However, when you are able to express and understand parts of your past, this can help you be better prepared to be the man that you fully desire to be. It’s not about dwelling on the past or making excuses because of it. It’s about putting things to rest and becoming who you want to be now.
COmmOn MEn's IssuEs
ThAt ArisE In ThErApy
Anger and irritability
Often men are taught to hide more vulnerable emotions such as experiencing hurt or sadness, and instead taught to express anger and/or lash out. Messages such as "man up" or "boys don't cry" lead to men often feeling as if they need to mask their emotions. Expressing anger may be the only way they have learned to communicate that they are hurting. However, anger can have detrimental effects on relationships. Learning how to communicate hurt and sadness effectively can facilitate an opportunity for repair and even strengthen relationships. Psychotherapy can help challenge what it means to express emotion, let go of automatic expressions of anger, and instead express the vulnerability needed to have fulfilling relationships.
Intimacy and affection
Traditional masculinity communicated that you express love by providing and/or "doing things" for your partner. This is demonstrated by buying, fixing, and/or attempting to solve problems for others. These behaviors can be seen as supportive and can provide a sense of security, but they also can be unhelpful if it is the only way of expressing closeness in relationships. Partners of men can at times experience emotional distance when they want someone to listen to them without buying, fixing, and/or attempting to solve problems. Psychotherapy can assist men building upon their methods of expressing care, help understand their love language, learn new ways of expressing love and intimacy.
Since men are often taught to hide their feelings of hurt or sadness, unhealthy coping can sometimes develop. Men can sometimes numb or push away emotions through drug/alcohol use, hyper-sexuality, devaluing and/or ending relationships, physical altercations, or generally keeping others at a distance. Alcohol issues can arise for men, and men are more likely to drink excessively than women (CDC), and excessive alcohol consumption increases aggression. Psychotherapy can assist men in addressing underlying issues related to unhealthy coping behaviors, and help identify, learn to deal with, and effectively express emotions in ways that that are more adaptive and can help preserve and strengthen relationships.
Non-medical sexual issues
Medically explained causes of erectile dysfunction, reduced sex drive (i.e., hypoactive sexual desire), or premature ejaculation are addressed by medical doctors. However, psychological and lifestyle factors can also contribute to these difficulties. Psychotherapy can assist men by treating underlying anxiety (e.g., performance anxiety) and depression that can contribute to sexual difficulties. Thus, psychotherapy can improve sexual performance and related concerns.
What makes an issue specific to men?
What makes an issue specific to men depends on how it was developed and maintained. Issues specific to men are developed within a context (e.g., how you were raised within your family, time period that you grew up in, cultural identities that you hold, and/or geographical area you live in). These contextual factors have the potential to define behavior as something a man would or would not do. These definitions can be limiting and unhelpful. They can restrict the problem solving ability of men in situations that require more flexible and adaptive responses.
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