Whether he asks for it or not, there are times for every man when he needs a coach, a mentor, or just clear and honest feedback. There are very few places where men can be welcomed, accepted, supported, guided and challenged to become the best version of themselves. Northern Illinois Men's Counseling provides that place.
Today men face challenges very different from what their fathers or grandfathers had to deal with. Nowadays men are expected to be:
Strong yet sensitive
In control but not controlling
Powerful but vulnerable
Protective but nurturing
Steady and unshakable but emotionally connected and responsive
It is no wonder we can be conflicted, confused and it may seem like we can’t do anything right!
In counseling a man can find clarity of his values, understand what he wants and see how he is blocking himself from getting it. A man can gain the power to make changes in himself that may lead to profound improvements in his relationships, sense of purpose and pride in who he is.
"Communication problems” are a frequent complaint from men and their frustrated partners. Men have trouble communicating effectively in conflict or other emotional situations because they have not been taught - directly or by example - how a man is supposed to own, share and work with his inner emotional experience. In fact, the majority of men lean toward ignoring, dismissing or minimizing emotions in favor of rational problem-solving. Unfortunately, while that tactic works work well in the business world, it nearly always undermines the emotional connection in an intimate relationship and only makes matters worse. Northern Illinois Men's Counseling works with men to build their emotional awareness and literacy, allowing them to communicate more authentically and vulnerably with their partner.
Anger, Frustration and Avoidance
When it comes to conflict with someone who really matters, many men try hard to avoid it by making excuses, minimizing, silence, deflection, or defensive explaining. When that doesn’t work, they may escalate to angry outbursts, verbal counter-attacks, hurtful comments, sarcasm, cruel humor or even violence. Their challenge is to recognize that under their outward display are more unfamiliar, tender and vulnerable emotions that are driving their defensive responses. With that awareness, it is possible to take steps to de-escalate conflicts and enable problem solving and emotional reconnection. Northern Illinois Men's Counseling can help men see their part in negative interactions with their partner and take positive steps to respond differently and work to reconnect in the midst of conflict.
Affairs and Infidelity
When men have affairs, whether emotional or physical, it can be for a wide variety of reasons – many of which have little to do with their partner or spouse. However, the damage to their partner and the relationship is deep regardless of his intent to not harm his partner.
A man can do his part in repairing the relationship through a focused and intentional process of healing the relationship wound, followed by an extended process of rebuilding trust through consistent, trustworthy action over time. Northern Illinois Men's Counseling can help men who are willing to take the courageous step to own their harmful choices, and make real changes in their thoughts, choices and behaviors. With support, guidance and patient persistence, healing the relationship is often possible.
Isolation and Retreat
Given that society so poorly prepares men to do relationships well, including not giving them the skills to manage conflict in an intimate relationship, it is not surprising that many men cope with stress, demands, resentments and frustration by withdrawing, avoiding, and generally pretending the issues don’t exist. The sad fact that so many people immediately understand the term “Man Cave” is testimony to the prevalence, and perhaps acceptance, of men retreating and avoiding issues they do not know how to solve.
Further, few men seem to have a close social network of friends who are close enough to confide in about difficult issues and challenges. This social isolation, so different from old traditions of strong and supportive communities of men, keeps men from learning to understand themselves and empathize with others. Northern Illinois Men's Counseling works with men to develop the skills and awareness to make supportive connections with other men.
Are You Ready?
If you have questions or are ready to make an appointment that can start a process of positive change in your life, call, e-mail or make an appointment through the scheduling system on this website.
“When men seek counsel, guidance and support when they need it is a sure sign of maturity, wisdom and courage.”