I am a psychologist that specializes in treating men. If you’re 18-80, I work with you. If you’ve got ADHD, trauma, addiction, relationship problems, career problems, you’re an ideal client. If you’ve served in the military, if you’re a first responder, police, firefighter, if you’re a lawyer, a doctor, a business owner, a coder, a gamer, an electrician, a carpenter, or if you drive a truck – I’m your guy.

Tons of people ask about what I do. When I answer and say. “I’m a psychologist that specializes in treating men,” most people go, “Huh? Wow, I’ve never heard of anybody doing that. Do men even go to therapy?” Well, they may not go to Grandma, and they sure aren’t going to lie on a couch, but they do come to see me.

The next most popular thing people ask is, “Why men?” The easy answer is because I can speak their language. I am arrogant enough, cocky enough and abrasive enough to keep up with the bravado, the show, and the machismo. And I love it! After an hour, they know I understand them and that I’m somebody they can relate to. That makes me different.

I don’t think women will ever be able to understand the life of a man 100% accurately, no matter how empathetic or experienced or trained they might be. So I’ve got that going for me. And I’ve got a very clear belief of what it means to be a good man. You fight for what’s right. You provide. You work hard. You leave it better than you found it. You make new things. You invent. You discover. You’re kind. You make sure people around you feel special. You hope to be a hero, and you act like a champion. You’re confident.

So here’s me being confident. I’m really good at what I do. And I haven’t met anybody who does therapy the way I do.

My Thoughts on Men

Guys get the short end of the stick because they are accused of either having an anger management problem, being juvenile, being narcissistic, or being an emotional desert. It’s just not true. We shouldn’t be penalized because we’ve never been taught or given the privilege of being raised in a world where we got value out of self-awareness and emotional intelligence. It’s not because we didn’t play with dolls either, or didn’t have equal choice between pink and blue. It’s because when we fell down, we weren’t given the option to cry about it. Crying is something you might do at a funeral, you might do it if your team loses, and you might do it if your pet dies. But it better be a dog, otherwise you’re a wuss, and there’s no way you’re going there. This is stuff we learned in sixth grade, or the first time in the locker room. This is why guys don’t do vulnerable! At least not intuitively. Up until now, most of us didn’t have the chance to learn it or practice it, and we certainly didn’t get supported or rewarded for it. Let’s face it. We’ve got crappy models, we don’t see it on TV (Thanks for nothing, Raymond!) and if guys don’t get in to really good therapy that speaks their language, their chance of increasing is about nil.

So in therapy, it often takes a bit of a wrestle at first before guys realize that I’m not there to twist their words or blame them. I’m not there to make them feel weak or stupid, or tell them that they have something as generic as an anger problem. Once we get through that, and if they can tolerate the process, it’s go time.

Therapy With Me

I think people get a huge amount of leverage from honest relationships. Ones that are supportive, authentic, and ones that accept who we are, but also ask us to be constantly moving, growing, and becoming more. Most people can’t pull this off outside of therapy. That’s because the people they attempt to have relationships with have motives, agendas, and frankly judgments that get in the way of supporting them. That doesn’t happen in my office. That’s because I think your psychologist should be somebody you can talk about anything with, more than your physician, more than clergy, more than a best friend, even more than your partner. I can’t count how many times my clients say, “Yeah I’ve never talked about this with anybody.” Or “I’ve never had anybody like you in my life.” That is the reality of what I do. I have a pretty good read for this stuff, and often it comes because I take a 20, 30, even 60 thousand foot view of things. Meaning, I step back from the situation further than anybody would think logically makes sense. I look for themes and patterns - big picture stuff that connects the dots because if you want to change, I think context is king!

When you have context, or an understanding of what happened to you, and why your life is in its current state, you have the ability to choose to behave differently. And you have to act differently if you want to feel differently and think differently about yourself. This doesn’t happen without a change in behavior.

On the other hand, without context, you’re operating without radar. It’s like dropping on this planet and not having any understanding of history. You’re just flying by the seat of your pants and hoping it goes ok.

To understand the context of your life, you have to increase your self-awareness and emotional intelligence. Generally, in any given situation or experience, you’re going to feel, behave, and think in a routine way. These routines are strategies that we establish at a very early age to minimize pain and get our needs met. Most of the time, they are subconscious or below any degree of our awareness. It’s simply what we do as humans to survive. We are the best animals on this planet. We will adapt and survive at all costs. These routine habits of emotion, behavior and thought are the strategies we’ve adopted to make it. The remarkable thing is, not only do these strategies help us survive to adulthood, but most of the time they help us win and kill it at work! Often however, these same strategies get us kicked in the teeth in romantic relationships. In other words, they’ve got a shelf life. That’s where I work every day. On that shelf.

To Boil it All Down…

I help guys overcome trauma and addiction and increase their self-awareness and emotional intelligence.

Editorial Note: The cool thing is that now, emotional intelligence and self-awareness are actually getting some street cred. The business world has finally realized that emotional intelligence is a big deal. It makes great leaders and even better salesmen. There is a disconnect though. I’m glad they’re talking about it, but they’re not the ones that know how to develop it. I am!


AuthorDr. Jay