Counseling African American Males – The Male Socialization Process

The Male Socialization Process of African American Males

All people are situated in an historical as well as a culteral process. Any understanding of African American men must be based understanding the African American history and culture. This implies that counseling approaches must be based on an understanding of African Americans. Young African American men in today’s society are confronted with many challenges and difficulties that can and often do affect their psychological developement.

Historically, Manhood and masculinity has not been a birthright for the African American male and to this day is not accepted as such by the majority of the American society. With the forces impacting the development of African American men, it is essential that dedicated counselors help and support them to develop attitudes and behaviors that will enable them to function psycho-socially in this demanding world.

Adolescent African American males keep facing great hardships and obstacles as they mature. The central issue is that they are raised in an antagonistic, hostile and non-supportive environment. Often the environment includes poverty, criminal justice and injustice, unemployment, inequitable educational opportunities and negative media images.

A African American male’s gender identity and masculinity has been and keeps on being unstable. It must be earned and and is being tested on a daily basis. A man can’t simply be manly, he should continually “validate” it. The socially endorsed masculine behaviors require men to work against the fulfillment of their own needs, to compete, to be aggressive, and to evaluate their lifelong success in accordance with and the perspective of others. Male’s are caught in this impossible-to-win situation: ig he lives out the role society has written for him, his basic needs stay unfullfilled, if he satisfys his needs, chances are he is being judged by societ or even himself, not to be a real man.

Today’s socially accepted picture of a male, especially the African American male is that he doesn’t verbally express his feelings, either because he doen’t have any or because he has been taught not to. It appears many African American males have problems expressing feelings openly, giving up emotional control and are being vulnerable to self, others, and new experiences.

Given Afro-American history, the Afro-American man has – for many generations –
been taught to ignore his own feelings and become out of touch with with his body. He doesn’t recognize internal stress, strain and symptoms of illnesses as such. If he is aware of his inner distress he usually doens’t accept these signs and refuses to see a doctor. This behavior opens the door for diseases like cancer, strokes, heart attacks, and mental illnesses.

Strongly related to the issue of Black masculinity are the problems encountered on the path to manhood. Most Americans are aware of the presence of young African American men but they are generally viewed as a source of tension, trouble and problems within the social structure because the American society does not allow them to stay in touch with their feelings and express them in a healthy way.

Read More:

  1. Counseling African American Males – The Male Socialization Process
  2. Counseling African American Males – Practitioner Related Issues
  3. Counseling African American Males – Therapeutic Problems






Adult Survivor of Child Sexual Abuse

An adult survivor of child sexual abuse cannot be categorised in any way, such are the complex dynamics and deep trauma at work in this situation. Generally speaking, adults will normally have one of two postures towards life after such abuse, they will either collapse or they will attempt to rise above the abuse.
The collapsed outcome is an adult who often has easily recognisable symptoms and problems that stop them from being functional in one or more areas of their life, often with depressive, or addictive, or victim status personas, or require ongoing medical assistance to cope with life.
The second outcome where one “rises above the abuse and its shame” are nominally those who dissociate from the abuse trauma, soldier on and are able to maintain for some time an intact functional life in work and social settings, but who often withdraw or have impairment issues in intimate relationships.
Some behaviours and coping mechanisms common to both groups can include impulses to abuse another person in some way, sexual promiscuity or sexual frigidity or fluctuations between the two, prostitution, alcohol or drug dependency, suicidal thinking or attempts, self mutilation, abusive relationships or absence from relationships. There is a body of evidence that psychosomatic medical disorders are seen to accompany sexually abused children later in life.

#csa survivor, #borderlinerage, borderline #narcissisticmother, #borderlinemen, #borderlineabuse

Adolescent gang members and mental health (2)

The prevalence of psychiatric disorders in detained youth is greater in comparison to the counterparts in the community (60–70% versus 20–25%). Youth who are detained have increased rates of psychiatric co-morbidity; ethnic and gender differences have been identified.

There are higher rates of psychosis, anxiety, antisocial personality disorder, suicide attempts, alcohol dependence and drug dependence in young adult gang members in comparison to violent and non-violent men; however, both gang members and violent men had a lower prevalence of depression.

Adolescent gang members and mental health

Youth gang members as a whole display a greater level of anti-authority than either peripheral youth or non-gang members. Gang-affiliated youth are often outside the bounds of the traditional mental health services and have particular needs. Because of the increased risk to exposure to violence, these youth have increased rates of post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms.

There are high levels of mental health disorders within the juvenile detention population as a whole, estimated to affect between 40–70%, including psychotic disorders, mood disorders, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, disruptive behavior disorders, and substance use disorders.


Know YourSelf – Part III

I love to encourage people to help me or to inspire them to go for their goals.

Just actively do something positive for your community and get beyond the ‘dreaming’-stage. If you know a single mother in the neighborhood that is struggling and it is the end of the month. Bring her a bag of groceries. If you know she has a baby, bring a pack of diapers, too.

Or just plant flowers in your front yard. Make it an event for the whole neighborhood on a Saturday. Planting first and after that y’all come together for a BBQ or something.

No guns – just fun!

An event like that, not only makes the neighborhood look better, more friendly and peaceful. It also has an effect on you. It is not just planting flowers. You are doing something positive for yourself, too. And coming together and getting to know each other helps building trust in the neighborhood.

Of course, there will always be some fools around who don’t or do not want to understand that message but for the majority of the people in the neighborhood those little things could make the difference. This is what I want to collect money for. It’s called healing the hood from the inside out. If people don’t have the money for things like that –it’s not gonna happen.

But if they would receive money from a nonprofit organization, I’m convinced that many people would be with it and participate.