Pine Tree Counselling
Trudi Jane Wyatt, MA, CT, CCC

Counselling services for individual men and women in Calgary, Alberta.

verified by Psychology Today


Phone: 403.270.2386**
Emergencies 911

350 7 Ave SW, Calgary, T2P3N9

Men’s Issues

I was moved reading a recent article on the CTV News Calgary app, “Alberta dad inked with tattoo in solidarity with 8-year-old son”, about a dad who noticed that his son felt self-conscious about a large birthmark, such as when going swimming, so he “decided to do something to show his son that having a mark on your body is okay.” (1) I was going to “tweet” this, but coincidentally, this article was posted the same day I virtually attended The 2020 Canadian National Men’s Issues Conference (2), which discussed many topics including positive masculinity and the importance of male role models for male youths, so I decided to create a post about both. The conference as usual was excellent overall (it’s annual). Speakers were from different fields. Some of my key take-away ideas for my work included the following reminders and new ideas (that I thought in many cases need not only apply to working with men):

  • That there can be “positive masculinity” and “positive male attributes”. Ideas about what these might mean.
  • The importance of positive male adult role models for male youths. In my past work with teens, the overall idea of positive adult role models for teens was important, a “protective factor”. This is relevant to my current work because adults can consider if they had any and adults can strive to be those positive role models.
  • That anger is often a shield from the emotional pain of the reality of what has happened; and, that “grieving” the “fantasy” of a different past can be helpful towards inner peace.
  • If you create an interpretation, you can also change your interpretation.
  • The idea that “victimhood” is “a place” (“the hood”) that is not necessarily constructive; and that focusing on a challenge, responsibility, and accomplishment, can be helpful alternatives.
  • That speaking with men (in my experience, men or women) about purpose, and about assertiveness (vs. aggression), can be helpful.
  • That some men who experience emotional abuse don’t realize they do, because while they experience the behaviours, they don’t know it’s considered abuse. (These behaviours can be things like put-downs, name calling, being made to feel guilty or humiliated, etc.)
  • That traumatic experiences can have a whole host of impacts that are sometimes not identified as due to traumatic experiences. Also, that there can be “growth” after recovering from traumatic experience.

Finally, please note, the conference seemed to suggest that a lot of counselling is done with a “feminist” perspective. I don’t know the stats on this, so it could be the case. I do know though that for example that in my Master’s program in Counselling Psychology, and in the certification I did in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (“CBT”), feminism was not a dominant theme.

If you are seeking counselling for the types of issues listed on my website, please feel free to contact me for more information or to book an appointment. For other issues and therapist options, be aware that they will most likely be amenable to any questions you might have about what approach or approaches guide their work, as “fit” with a therapist is often very important in the therapy process.



Note that this post is neither counselling nor counselling therapy. If you need these services, please contact me or another professional. If you require the services of a medical doctor, psychologist, or social worker, please contact one. If urgent support is needed, calling Calgary Distress Centre at 403.266.4357 is an option (or your local distress hotline). For emergencies, consider calling 911 or going to your local Emergency Room. This page is for information only, is not advice of any kind (including it is not legal advice), and implies neither an intent to provide professional services to readers nor that a professional relationship has been established with readers. Current adult residents of the Canadian province of Alberta are the only intended audience of this page.

Trudi Jane Wyatt, MA, CT, CCC / Pine Tree Counselling © 2020