For over 10 years I have had the opportunity to work with young men (12-25 years) in counselling. I have also been fortunate to work for many years in a boys’ high school in Manly.
- Boys want to talk and have something to say many people ask me do they even talk? Yes the boys I see do talk and trust me they have plenty to say about the world and themselves.
- Ask the right questions. I often hear the young men say “Ask me what you want to know.” Interesting enough this often works. I try and ask open ended questions and always take the time to allow the young men to share their stories and interests including listening to their favourite song or youtuber.
- Rapport is paramount in working with young men. Building rapport overtime is paramount in supporting young men to feel comfortable to open up. I usually provide young men the option after the initial couple of sessions once rapport has been built, of coming back when they feel ready. Being flexible and offering an open door policy helps young men to seek out support and not feel pressured to talk when they are not ready to.
- Sometimes it is about teaching the basics. Sometimes boys aren’t taught about emotions and how to notice their emotions in their body. Asking “how do you feel?” can be an uncomfortable question to someone who does not know how to identify their feelings.
Founder at ‘We Connect Psychology’