"I’m broken." When a boy or man says this, he is expressing deep alienation from himself and the world. Something’s wrong, and he usually cannot begin to explain why. What brings boys and men into psychotherapy or analysis?
Many of them struggle with access to their inner worlds. Experiences of alienation can lead to destructive and self-destructive behaviors, including addiction and violence. This book explores the reasons for this and considers why boys and men seek professional help. How do psychotherapists and analysts engage them when they often protest that they want to be left alone?
Looking at the male psyche from boyhood through adolescence and into adulthood, Male Alienation at the Crossroads of Identity, Culture and Cyberspace provides examples from clinical practice, current events, art, and literature that show what happens when alienation is severe and leads boys and men to discharge their emotional problems in the outside world. The book examines compulsive internet use, flawed concepts of masculinity, difficulties with mutually intimate relationships, trouble showing emotions, and identity issues, as well as the role of fathers, with a focus on the types of fathers that many boys and men describe as being difficult. Tyminski provides various practical ideas about working with boys and men to encourage them to be open to their inner worlds, and emphasizes a contrast between having meaningful contacts or having a merely transactional approach to relating.
Male Alienation at the Crossroads of Identity, Culture and Cyberspace will be essential reading for Jungian analysts, psychotherapists, and psychoanalysts as well as a wide range of other professionals who work with men and boys.
Table of Contents
1. The inner word and male alienation: beware this house
2. Online antics: caught in the web
3. Narcissus in the locker room: sexuality and gender
4. Breaking it: at a loss for words
5. Alienation and identity: immigration, race, and ethnicity
6. Alienated monsters cut loose
7 Accidents that become catastrophes
8 What our fathers give us
9 I'm broken
10 Revealing a boy
Robert Tyminski is a psychologist and Jungian analyst in San Francisco, USA. Past president of the C.G. Jung Institute of San Francisco, he is a Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco. He is the author of The Psychology of Theft and Loss: Stolen and Fleeced (Routledge).
"This is a great book! It is rare to see such finely tuned and sensitive clinical skills that are both steeped in the research and theories of child and adolescent development and, at the same time, coupled with depth oriented soulful insightfulness about the ordeals of growing up. Among this book's many virtues is Dr. Tyminski’s ability to track and connect the subtle interface of the fragile structures of young male identity formation and alienation with the dangers of being swallowed by a rapidly evolving internet culture and/or problematic parental relationships, especially with fathers." --Thomas Singer, M.D., Jungian psychoanalyst in San Francisco, co-editor of the Ancient Greec, Modern Psyche Series and co-editor of The Cultural Complex (both Routledge)
"Here at last is an invaluable resource for therapists, teachers and professionals in pastoral care - one of few contemporary contributions to the topic of treating young men in the troubling years of transition into adulthood.
With close attention to anti-developmental threats such as internet addiction, conflicts over sexuality, suicidality and alienation from internal states, it provides in-depth case studies from the author’s clinical experience with young men in psychic turmoil. Destructiveness is tracked to its origins in shame, humiliation and rage - and importantly, the case studies illustrate ways forward out of alienation into maturation and emotional integration.
I thoroughly recommend this book!" - Susanna Wright, Jungian analyst and former co-editor in chief of the Journal of Analytical Psychology
"In this very timely and well-written volume, Dr. Tyminski addresses one of the most difficult and important challenges currently faced by society; the alienation of males, and the profound suffering and destruction it causes. Integrating extensive research, theory and clinical experience, this book provides powerful examples, crucial insights and potential solutions to the problems related to males’ estrangement, from isolation & loathing to conflict & violence, among many others. The writing is also extremely engaging, making it essential reading not only for clinicians, scholars and policy makers, but also for anyone interested in human development in our current social, political and technological context." - Philip J. Moore, PhD, Associate Professor of Psychology, The George Washington University, USA