You may be familiar with one or more of the following issues arising in your intimate relationships:
- Inability to be present, or unawareness of what that really means
- Lack of understanding around the concept of empathy, and how to do it
- Trouble with just listening to your partner, feeling yourself frequently taking the role of ‘problem solver’ or ‘fixer’
- Your partner has expressed feeling unheard by you, like you aren’t understanding them or listening when they want to share and process their feelings
In my private psychotherapy practice I provide therapy for men and have the great honor and privilege of working with men who enlist my support in cultivating their emotional intelligence. Some of these men have experienced a lack of intimate relationships, while others have not been able to show up in their long term relationships in a way that sustains the growth of their unions.
I recently watched and was deeply inspired by the documentary film The Mask You Live In, about the role that American culture plays in shaping the identities of our boys and men, and how we teach our boys from a young age that having and expressing emotions is the objectionable territory of girls and women only. The resulting tragedy of this insidious message is that boys and men don’t learn to connect with the full range of their human experience, and therefore don’t connect with others either.
Sometimes boys are raised in fatherless families of origin, or have an inaccessible father who is out-of-touch with his own emotions, is abusive, or is otherwise not a good example for kind and open communication. This lack of role modeling, paired with the cultural stigma of boys expressing emotions (and the berating that often follows) can create the conditions whereby men do not develop their emotional selves and later find that they are not skilled in creating intimacy with loved ones through sharing the feelings closest to their hearts or empathizing with their partner’s experiences.
Together, we can look at the obstacles that might be preventing you from creating and building the types of bonds you would like to have. Additionally, we can explore your abilities in the following areas of effective communication and work on strengthening your skills so that you can move forward with confidence in your ability to sustain positive and loving connections:
- Active Listening
- Identifying and Sharing Your Own Feelings, Body Sensations, Emotions
Please contact me if you would like to learn more about effective communication and build your skill-set.