A1 Relationships - a two-part, 4 hour workshop,
helping you build successful relationships and resolve conflicts.
Participants' Feedback

"I found the information provided by Jonathan in his communication and conflict resolution skills workshop presented in a concise, easy to understand friendly manner. I will certainly be using what I have learned in my work with my clients who are struggling with communication and conflict resolution in their own relationships. Thank you Jonathan." S.W.

"I found the above workshop very informative and interesting, both from a personal perspective and a professional one. Jonathan is knowledgeable, clear in his delivery and gentle in his approach. A most worthwhile course for anyone interested in relationships." T.W.
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about the A1 Relationships workshop.

Men's Issues

The women's movement of the past thirty years has seen many changes in the way men and women see themselves and each other. For the first time, it has led to an increasing number of women taking their place as equals beside men in many contexts.

For men, pioneer authors, such as American, Robert Bly, and Australian, Steve Biddulph, have been pointing the way towards better self understanding and have flagged the challenges men must face to meet their womenfolk as equals and true partners in life. This means that men are now being encouraged to re-evaluate who they are and what they can do.

Relationships

Because women are setting new agendas for true partnership and emotional intimacy with their menfolk, men are being profoundly challenged and many have not been trained and may not be ready for what women expect of them. In the past, women often recognized limitations but their economic dependence meant they had to keep their concerns to themselves or accept second best, or worse.

Now, as the current divorce statistics show, when a marriage or a relationship has broken down irretrievably, women are able to leave and get on with their lives. In Western Australia alone there are over 5000 divorces a year, of which about 70% are initiated by women.

More and more men are accepting that they need to see counsellors and work on themselves, either to improve their relationship skills in their current relationship or to ensure they are better prepared for the next one.

The model of a tough, competitive, and emotionally isolated man was needed for war and various work settings, but now many men (largely due to the demands of their womenfolk) are challenging these stereotypical patterns of male behaviour and are recognizing that they are out of emotional and relational balance. This can be a difficult situation for many men because, having been raised not to express emotions and to maintain 'a stiff upper lip', many simply lack either the awareness or the vocabulary they need to express how they are feeling. Communicating honestly about their feelings and other aspects of intimacy in relationships can be a scary challenge for men to accept. Some never do.

Fathers and parenting

The 1990's were a turning point in men's awareness of their roles as sons and fathers. For the first time in history men started to challenge how they were raised by their fathers and many men had to painfully acknowledge that their fathers were emotionally absent from their lives when they were growing up.

'Father hunger' was recognized as a significant negative influence on both the way men grow up to relate to each other and on their ability to be good fathers. Today, many men know that they need to have frequent contact with their children, and are willing to share in the responsibilities of taking care of them.

They are also developing skills to play and communicate well with their children as well as learning to provide appropriate boundaries and discipline. Men are also accepting the importance of physically and verbally expressing the love and pride they feel towards their children throughout the years they are growing up and beyond. It is generally accepted now that, whilst boys look to their fathers as a role model for adult life, it is just as important for daughters to be given their father's love, respect and encouragement in order to grow up with high self-esteem.

Self awareness and a spiritual path

More and more men are acknowledging that our current corporate value systems and economic rationalism present various pitfalls and limitations to men's (and women's) lives in their relationships with life partners, their families, and friends, as well as with nature and the planet. Maintaining the 'protector and provider' role that was the lot of previous generations of men is now being seen as restricting and insufficient for fulfilment in life.

Increasing numbers of men are dissatisfied with the quest for purely material gains and, with the declining influence of Western religions, are seeking peace of mind as well as meaning and purpose in life through self-awareness courses, counselling and various spiritual paths that come from a worldwide variety of religious and spiritual teachings.

© Jonathan Kester 2016

Books

Robert Bly "Iron John" 1990 Element
Steve Biddulph "Manhood" 1993 Finch
Olga Silverstein & Beth Rashbaum "The Courage to Raise Good Men" 1995 Penguin (primarily for mothers – but relevant to fathers too)
Steve Biddulph "Raising Boys"1997 Finch (for parents and teachers)
John Marsden "Secret Men's Business" 1998 Pan Macmillan (for young men)
Daniel Petrie "Father Time" 1998 Finch

Services for men

Men's Advisory Network
www.man.org.au

Lone Fathers
www.singlefather.com

Hey Dad WA (Project run by Ngala)
heydadwa@ngala.com.au or telephone (08) 9368 9379 for metro callers and 1800 111 546 for country callers.

Jonathan lives in Perth Western Australia. He works in Fremantle as well as from his home office in Mahogany Creek. He also uses Skype and phone links for country and overseas clients. He is married and has one adult son and three adult stepchildren.
 

Professional Memberships

Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia
PACFA Clinical Reg. 21147
Licentiate of the College of Speech Therapists (London)

Jonathan has written articles on the following topics:

Staying Connected In Your Relationships
Fighting Fair
Men's Issues
Ageing and Retirement

To contact Jonathan:

Phone: 08 9298 9915
Mobile: 0438 929 899
Email: jonakes@globaldial.com

17 South Street
Fremantle WA 6160

and

145 Brooking Road
Mahogany Creek WA 6072

www.perthcounselling.net.au

Private Health Fund Rebates may apply.

 

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