Behind the Mask: Understanding & Treating Depression in Adolescent Males

Depression is soaring among adolescent males. However, these young men frequently go undiagnosed and untreated, often because they don’t exhibit standard diagnostic criteria for depression. Instead – after a lifetime being told boys don’t cry – they appear angry, oppositional, self-destructive, or simply numb. They hide behind these masks, pushing away the world and hoping nobody notices they’re actually sad, lonely, vulnerable boys.

In this highly interactive workshop, we’ll develop the knowledge and skills to look behind those masks – in order to address the roots of this covert depression, the impact of the Guy Code, and the Stuckness that results when biological predispositions and environmental stressors collide. Since this Stuckness often includes Big Questions related to death, meaninglessness, and isolation, we’ll also consider practical strategies for exploring existential themes with depressed adolescent males.

Often, these masks are attempts to avoid feelings, connections, and life. With that in mind, we’ll identify practical strategies for building therapeutic alliance by improving trustworthiness, nurturing connectedness, and developing therapeutic presence. Throughout the day, we’ll also consider a variety of field-tested strategies to help adolescent males get unstuck, start moving forward, and leave their masks behind.

Behind the Mask is typically scheduled 9:00am to 4:30pm, with an hour lunch and two short breaks, for a total of 6 clock hours of training. For more information or to schedule this presentation, please contact me.