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Mentoring Dan

This is Dan. He is 19 years old and he looks okay doesn’t he?
But unfortunately he is far from okay. He is currently experiencing some extreme mental health challenges ie severe anxiety / anger, substance misuse, self harm and obsessive suicidal thoughts.
He has been written off by the mainstream mental health services (such as they are) and was advised to keep on taking his prescribed medication by his last psychotherapist who was charging £350.00 an hour!!
Dan was recently referred to me and we were having one Zoom session for an hour a week but I was always uncomfortably aware that it might not be enough and prayed each week that he would show up for his call. He showed up every week on time and was making progress in applying the strategies and action plan that was forming through our sessions. His commitment to healing was clear and so I invited him to come and stay with me for a couple of days. This went against all the traditional professional guidelines but I tend to be guided by my own inner compass these days and felt he would greatly benefit from a deeper and more intense sacred masculine experience.
We talked for hours and walked and he attended the men circle. I am pleased with his progress. He has gone away with renewed faith and an understanding of his issues and an action plan to follow. We continue to meet weekly on Zoom. He has one hell of a journey in front of him but I am confident that with my guidance Dan will return to health and be able to experience joy again.
He sent this message to me after he returned home:
“Thank you very much for the last few days. You have taught me a lot and showed me real acceptance and care. I appreciate it with all my heart.”
Unfortunately the result of generations of patriarchy is that there are millions of Dans out there. Young men born into dysfunctional homes and dysfunctional society, struggling with what it means to be a man with no guidance, no elders, no rites of passage! And the current world climate is meaning that male suicides and mental health is sky rocketing. I know we face as many challenges with mental health and well being of young (and not so young) woman too. But the maxim and sentiment behind ‘Big Boys Don’t Cry’ has created an ocean of suffering, separation and isolation among our boys and men.
My medicine is a combination of the wisdom I have acquired on my own hero’s journey and the love and compassion that I feel for young men and all those who are suffering as a result of this distorted patriarchal insanity that masquerades as civilisation.
Dan hasn’t cut himself since we started working together and other small changes suggest that we can turn things around. Dan is not the first young man that I have traveled such a journey with and I know that unfortunately, he will not be the last.
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