Do you only work with men? – NO. Some of my most successful and most enjoyable cases have been with women. Men’s Center New England is a passion of mine but not to the exclusion of the good women who may need my help and could benefit from my training, background and style of therapy. I do choose, as the father of a young girl, not to work with young women. Working with a child around the same age and gender as your own can present complications in the therapeutic relationship.
Why do you focus on men? The statistics - only about one-third of people in therapy in the U.S. are men. Only 60% of depressed men go for treatment, while more than 72% of women seek help. The suicide rate for men is four times higher than it is for women. Men make up over 75 percent of suicide victims in the United States, with one man killing himself every 20 minutes. Data from American Psychological Association shows that women make up 76 percent of new psychology doctorates, 74 percent of early career psychologists and 53 percent of the psychology work force. Men are clearly under-represented as both clients and therapists.
But more importantly, it’s personal - as a man who resisted treatment for my own issues with anxiety and panic attacks I want to de-stigmatize the process.
What is an LMFT? - Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. This DOES NOT mean I only work with families or couples who are married. It refers to a different kind of training and experience that looks at both your family of origin and family of creation to determine where the problems are coming from and how to solve them. Many who offer couples counseling and family therapy have little to no training or experience working with the complexities of the interpersonal dynamics of two or more people at the same time. I have done the additional course work, supervision and experience hours to practice this modality effectively. I am also a member of the board of directors of the New England Association for Family and Systemic Therapy (NEAFAST) and enjoy working with whole families and couples (in whichever form they take.)
Why don’t you take insurance? – The process of billing for insurance is complex and presents many issues, most important of which is that insurance does not cover typical individual experiences such and sadness, loss, anxiety and self-doubt, shame or blame. In any insurance reimbursed therapy, you are immediately given a mental health diagnosis in the first session. But not all experiences fit neatly into the boxes and list of symptoms described in the current Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (the DSM-5). In couples or family therapy only one part of the unit needs to be diagnosed which can actually make things worse, giving spouses, partners or other family members the ability to blame the person and their mental health rather than the relationship dynamics. Group therapy makes this process exponentially more complicated depending on the number of people in the group. I recognize not everyone can afford the luxury of avoiding being pathologized like this. I do see insurance-based clients in a group private practice in Stow, MA.
Can I see you in Stow and Burlington? – Unfortunately, no. I am an independent practitioner contracted with Streff Associates and there are difficulties managing the complexities of billing, reserving space and record keeping if MCNE clients wished to be seen by me through Streff’s infrastructure. If the Stow location would be more convenient please use this link to contact me and set something up.
Who are you to define what a man is? – I’m not and I don’t claim to be. All I know is that the definition is personal and ever changing in modern culture. The old ideas of John Wayne isolation and toughness, the man made of marble, no longer works. It’s hurting our families, our relationships, our children and - as evidenced the higher rate of male suicide and gun violence – our society. At the same time our culture may be swinging to the point of demonizing and pathologizing typical male traits making men feel stigmatized for genetically and culturally influenced thoughts, behaviors, and attitudes. I don’t know what the definition of a man is. And maybe you don’t either. Come in and we’ll figure it out together and define what it means in YOUR life.