An Introduction to Men's Work
by Felix Paulick
I specialize in helping men and their partners create happier lives and better relationships. One of
my primary practice areas is men’s work. I believe that there is a great need for this type of work in
our world today and that this work has the power to transform our lives and relationships.
Many men tell me that something is missing in their lives. They seem to feel chronically unhappy
with one or more parts of their lives. They may tell me that they love their partner, but something
about him or her frustrates them and they feel like they are settling for less. They may have a great
job, but they would be so much happier if they could just get that next promotion or make a little
more money. They may have children, but feel frustrated by the demands of parenting and how this
has changed their relationship with their partner. Or they don’t have children and believe that
having a child will bring purpose and meaning into their lives.
Often they have secret or not-so-secret habits that they once brought them pleasure, but now seem
to be more a source of shame or a way to escape from life’s demands. These might include
pornography, masturbation, surfing the web, watching television, drinking, smoking, playing
fantasy games, having an affair, spending money, or working too much. We were all born and
raised in a culture that promotes an external focus on material things. We are taught to be goal-
oriented and that the purpose of our lives is to seek pleasure, to compete, and to win at the game
of live. Many men measure themselves by how much money, sex, and power they have attained.
This is the culture of patriarchy. Today there is widespread understanding of the cost of patriarchy
for women. The cost of patriarchy for men is not as well known. Yet the evidence that patriarchy has
failed us is all around us in the form of broken relationships, high rates of addiction, and violence
in our culture. Patriarchy is fundamentally flawed in that it is based on the concepts of better
than/less than. It is anti-relational and vulnerability averse. It denies our basic nature as loving,
caring human beings.
The good news is that many men and women have discovered a different way to live. This way is
not new. It is based on ancient wisdom and knowledge that has been handed down for many
generations. It is not a quick fix. It requires time and effort, so it has not gained popularity with the
mainstream, pleasure-seeking crowd. It is a different way of answering the question what is
missing. For men, it is called men’s work. Men’s work requires a fundamental shift from searching
the external world to looking inside for answers. Most men in their teens and twenties have no
need and no time for this type of work. It is not until men reach their thirties and forties, when the
old ways of doing things have left them feeling empty and unfulfilled or have created a crisis in their
relationships or their own sense of self, that they become interested in doing inner work.
Most men are amazed to find that the path to true strength, power, and wisdom, the road to
becoming a “real man”, requires them to look into their hearts and to allow themselves to be
vulnerable. They are surprised to find that their brilliant minds often can not provide them with the
answers they are seeking. The inner path leads them to the undiscovered world of feelings and
emotions. They learn how to feel, how to be mad, sad, glad, and scared. They are often amazed to
find that their partners and children have been waiting years to see these parts of them.
Men’s work is best done in a group of other men. The messages of “be tough”, “don’t cry”, and “do
it alone” have caused much pain and wounding for men. One of the greatest forms of healing for
men is to be surrounded by other loving men. I facilitate two Men’s Groups. One on Sunday nights
from 5:30 - 7:30pm in Ann Arbor. The second on Thursday nights from 5:30 – 7:30pm at Joe Kort
and Associates in Royal Oak. If you are a man, I invite you to join us. I am also excited to be offering
a workshop entitled “Creating Trust and Intimacy: A One Day Workshop for Men” on Saturday, June
12 from 10am-6pm in Royal Oak. This workshop is a great place to begin or deepen your journey
If you are a woman reading this article, I invite you to bring in your man for couples therapy. Many
men are called to men’s work by the women who love them. Women who are tired of settling for
less. Women who want a true partner. Women who see the great potential in men to be strong and
loving. I believe in empowering women to ask for what they want in their relationships. Coming to
therapy individually or as a couple is not always easy. It requires work and can at times be painful.
There is a payoff for this hard work. You will find more joy in your life and you will create better,
more satisfying relationships. I invite you to join me on the journey.
To schedule a consultation please contact us.
Life Learning Center
Copyright © 2007
Felix Paulick and