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Richard Bloom MFT 09312

men and friendship

"Do you have any close men friends?" When I began asking my male clients this question many years ago, I was surprised that most of them told me that they do, indeed, have buddies who are important in their lives. American men are frequently characterized as incapable of bonding with other men, of being in constant competition with them, of being fearful of closeness. "Who are these men?" I would ask and the answers were always very revealing. "Well, I had some good buddies in college." "I was in the service with these guys. We hung together real tight." "A couple of old high school buddies. One of them is in Boulder, Colorado, and another lives in the East. We don't talk very much, and I haven't seen either one of them in years, but I know if I saw them today nothing would be different between us. I could trust those guys with my life."

Sometimes tears come to their eyes as they talk about buddies whom they haven't seen and frequently haven't talked to in years. Their longing for contact and closeness remains strong, but new opportunities seem few, and none of these men seem to know how to reach out and pursue friendship. They turn to the women in their lives to fulfill all their emotional needs and are disappointed and angry when their wives and lovers are unable to do so. Even when they participate in groups together, men frequently begin by talking about the women in their lives and the difficulties they have getting what they need from them. It often does not occur to them that some of the support and comfort they need is in that very room.

If you are interested in information about joining a men's group call or email Richard Bloom. 

Richard Bloom, mft, is a psychotherapist with over 40 years experience helping individuals and couples. He has offices in Santa Rosa and Berkeley.

For more information or to schedule an appointment call:  707-665-0846.