Why I Work with Men
You might be asking yourself why this middle-age white woman works with men. What could I possibly know about being a man?
Several years ago, I worked in a setting where I took the clients I was assigned, whether I had experience working with them or not. In previous jobs, I mostly worked with women and teens.
When I learned I’d be seeing a man named Bob* (names and some identifying information have been changed to preserve confidentiality) for anger management, I admit that I was apprehensive. I never saw an adult male client for individual therapy before. Would he yell at me? Would I be in danger?
When we met, Bob told me he had difficulty controlling his anger for most of his life. He to stop the road rage incidents that culminated in roadside fist fights and his tendency to scream his head off at people.
As I do with all my clients, we began processing childhood events that contributed to his chronic anger and how it manifested in his relationships. Bob’s marriage was struggling and his wife was worn out by his anger and emotional avoidance.
Our work together came to an end after Bob had become more deeply connected with his wife and adult children. The time they spent with each other was more peaceful and playful. When the going got tough, Bob didn’t get going anymore. He had the skill to tolerate uncomfortable emotions and to have hard conversations with people.
What I learned from my experience working with Bob (and many other Bobs like him over the years) is that he had a whole other side. He realized he kept others at bay in order to feel in control. Many of the men I’ve worked with, including Bob, were very goal-oriented. They took the work seriously and we collaborated to understand what progress looked like for them as individuals.
The more I worked with men, the more I grew to understand the sorts of dances men do to get by. Bottling up what they truly feel for decades upon decades. Missing out on emotional intimacy so they’re not ridiculed for being soft. Feeling like they don’t have the vocabulary to begin to express themselves.
Why I Work with Infidelity?
Working with infidelity was also something that happened seemingly by accident. In the same setting where I met the first of many guys like Bob I worked with, I realized that almost every client I worked with had some sort of infidelity story. Whether they were unfaithful with their partners or they had been on the difficult receiving end of it, I recognized the complexity of caring for clients in these situations.
For most clients I have worked with, sharing information about an affair is not something that comes easily. Nor have they told many other people, if any at all. Keeping the secret and helping my clients manage their feelings around their secret is something I do not take lightly. It is also important to me that clients feel comfortable sharing with me. And that they understand that I am not here to shame them.
Just a quick note that I do not currently see couples. Couples therapy is a highly-skilled practice and I prefer to refer anyone needing this service to trusted professionals who specialize in couples.
In serving both men and clients experiencing infidelity, I have learned that I like helping clients understand and make sense of seemingly impossible situations.
You also might want to know some information about my educational background so here it is:
- Master of Social Work, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey - 2004
- Bachelor of Arts, Music, University of Massachusetts, Boston, Massachusetts - 1999
- Bachelor of Arts, Sociology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania - 1995
- New Jersey Licensed Clinical Social Worker since 2006
- Candidate in Adult Psychoanalysis program - New Jersey Institute for Training in Psychoanalysis - in progress
- New York Psychoanalytic Society & Institute - Fellowship/One-Year Program - Certificate of Completion, 2022
- Center for Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis of New Jersey - One Year Program - Certificate of Completion, 2022
- Postpartum Support International - Certificate of Completion in Perinatal Mood Disorders, 2016
Since the pandemic began, I see most of my clients virtually (or online or via telehealth or however you may refer to it. It’s been the “I say to-may-to and you say to-mah-to” type thing since lockdown began. My license allows me to see clients anywhere in the state of New Jersey. I have office space in Short Hills and Boonton and have some limited in-person availability as well.
My practice is no longer in-network with any insurance companies. My fee for a 55-minute session is $200. If you would like to use your out-of-network benefits, we can discuss how to submit those claims. If you don't know what I'm talking about when I say "out-of-network benefits", give your insurance company a call. I can also help you decipher the insurance company language that seems unnecessarily confusing.
Call me at 201-248-5552 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a free 15-minute phone consultation.