Welcome

P1010785Welcome to tgolden.com a place that keeps track of the activities and resources offered byTom Golden, LCSW. You can scroll down and see the various posts or use the top navbar to check out each individual page. Resources include Tom’s original web site for the bereaved webhealing.com. Built in 1995 it was the first interactive web site helping those who were bereaved. There is a page for Tom’s private practice in Gaithersburg Md and also a page about his online consultations.
Tom’s new video site which houses hours of engaging vids on healing from loss has a page that also includes his books. There is also a page focusing on Tom’s speaking which offers a free 20 minute video on the basics of healing through the masculine side.

I hope you find this resource helpful.  Please do offer your feedback. We’d love to hear it.

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excerpts

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Below are links to excerpts from Helping Mothers be Closer to Their Sons.

Examples of two of the suggestions and tips found in helping moms to be closer to their sons:

Excerpt: Storytelling
Excerpt: Teaching boys about emotions

Excerpts learning about boy’s uniqueness:

Excerpt: Testosterone
Excerpt: Precarious Manhood

Do you sometimes wonder why he is the way he is?  Do you struggle in understanding him? Listen to the words of youtube sensation Karen Straughan:

“For any mother of boys who has ever been perplexed, flummoxed, bewildered, dumbfounded, flabbergasted, confused or stymied by the things they say and do, this book is a must read.”

Learn the secrets that make boy’s emotions invisible.  Learn the reasons he seems so different from your daughters.  The author has spent over 30 years working with boys and learning their nature.  This book will open you to their world and in so doing bring a deeper closeness.

 

What people are saying about this book!

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About the Author

Tom on the NFL Channel

Tom has appeared on a wide variety of media including CNN, CBS Evening News and many others. Shown here on ESPN and the NFL Channel for a special through NFL Films bringing the message that men have unique healing paths that are too often unseen.

Helping Mothers be Closer to Their Sons

mcb-cover-3d-2-4-8Do you sometimes wonder why he is the way he is?  Do you struggle in understanding him? Listen to the words of youtube sensation Karen Straughan:

“For any mother of boys who has ever been perplexed, flummoxed, bewildered, dumbfounded, flabbergasted, confused or stymied by the things they say and do, this book is a must read.”

Learn the secrets that make boy’s emotions invisible.  Learn the reasons he seems so different from your daughters.  The author has spent over 30 years working with boys and learning their nature.  This book will open you to their world and in so doing bring a deeper closeness.

Below are links to excerpts.

Excerpt: Testosterone
Excerpt: Precarious Manhood
Excerpt: Storytelling
Excerpt: Teaching boys about emotions

What people are saying about this book!

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Excerpt: Helping Mothers be Closer to Their Sons, page 90

The following is an excerpt from the section on teaching boys about emotions and focuses on helping him use his body to track his emotions.

Excerpt: Helping Mothers be Closer to Their Sons, page 90

mcb-cover-3d-2-4-8“The other thing you can do to help is to get him to connect his bodily experience with the emotion. Boys are usually very aware of their bodies and this can be a great way to help them understand their emotions. Show him that when he is angry he will likely hold his breath a bit, will likely clinch his fists and have tension in his upper body and jaw. When he is anxious show him that his breath will be quick and shallow, and he may feel a little shaky and timid. When he is glad show him that everything is pointing up! Literally. Watch football players after a touchdown and you will see that they are pointing up, bouncing up in the air etc. Everything is up, high fives and all. Note also that the opposing team is looking downward, feeling the weight and burden of gravity. When we are sad the pull of gravity is heavy, we don’t want to move, and we can feel stuck. By learning the body correlates of emotions, he will be in a much better place to understand his emotions and identify them through his body experience. I have used this in my practice with adolescent males many times. They come in with a great deal of emotion but are having are hard time becoming conscious of what they are feeling. I just ask them what they are feeling in their body and they start explaining in detail. My arms are tight, my jaw is tight, or my upper body is tight. I’m just tight. Then a simple question like, when someone is feeling tight like that, what might they be feeling? Then bingo! Often times the realization is so sudden he will shout, “I’m Pissed”, with great satisfaction. He realizes he is angry and starts making connections.

It will be much easier to ask your young son about what he is feeling in his body. Asking about emotions directly will usually end in frustration. He will likely respond positively to the body question but not so positively to the feeling oriented question. Not because he doesn’t want to tell you the answer but because he doesn’t understand. This is at least in part the case since the emotions are confusing for him and admitting that will drop him in the hierarchy. Talking about his body is a much safer place. Just ask him, “What are you feeling in your body right now?” This is a non-threatening question for boys and may help to get the conversation going. Keep in mind that some boys will have a very easy time in naming and discussing emotions while others will be stumped. Know where your son falls in this area and adjust your interactions based on his strengths.”

Excerpt: Testosterone

Excerpt: Precarious Manhood

Excerpt: Storytelling

 

Excerpt: Helping Mothers be Closer to Their Sons, page 72, Storytelling

 

The book offers plenty of suggestions about how to be closer with your son.  This excerpt is from the storytelling section and focuses on how to tell stories to boys where they are a character within the story.  They love it!

Excerpt: Helping Mothers be Closer to Their Sons, page 72

Telling stories where you make them a part

mcb-cover-3d-2-4-8“One of the things that young children love is if you tell stories that involve them as characters. This takes a bit of planning and creativity on your part but the payoff can be huge. The story can be whatever you would like it to be but for boys if there were an element of adventure and risk it will likely go over better. I would tell my kids what they named the “Ice Cream Story.” They loved it and would never fail to want to hear it again. Each time I told it we would add something a little different but the framework would stay about the same. The ice cream story was about my children and sometimes their friends (depending on who was present) inadvertently finding a huge storehouse of ice cream that flowed from faucets and an even bigger supply of cones and toppings (sprinkles, gummy bears, etc.) in the cabinets above the sinks. They would feast on these only to be nearly found out and then find ways to make things right. The story ends with the idea that they would return to that treasured storehouse whenever they wished and live happily ever after. In telling the story each child would be incorporated into the tale, i.e. “Suzy found the trail that led to the mysterious faucets and Jack ran to the nearest one and turned it on and what do you think came out?” They all scream at once, “Ice cream!” What flavor ice cream came from your faucet? Each child plays a part in the adventure and you can choose their part based on their skills and personality. Then again, listen to them as the story is being told and go with their ideas about their part. If you listen they will let you know what they want their part to be. If you are a creative type you can just make it up as you go. It can be great fun and everyone has a good time. Remember, you are not being graded either. Just relax and have some fun. If you mess it up, all the merrier. Boys love a mess. ”

 

Excerpt: Testosterone

Excerpt: Precarious Manhood

Excerpt: Teaching boys about emotions

Excerpt: Helping Mothers be Closer to Their Sons, page 28

This excerpt is from the section on “precarious manhood” that describes the latest research on the concept of manhood and how it is a moving goalpost that impacts boys and men.

Excerpt from page 28, Helping Mothers be Closer to Their Sons

mcb-cover-3d-2-4-8“When girls successfully go through puberty they are nearly always considered to be women. They have no need to prove their “womanhood” to anyone. It is simply accepted. Not so with boys. Boys may successfully navigate the physical side of puberty but this does not make them men. Manhood is something that he must prove. Repeatedly. Scientists have dubbed this phenomena “Precarious Manhood” and state that manhood is not a condition that comes about through biological maturation, rather, according to David Gilmore, it is a “precarious or artificial state that boys must win against powerful odds.”23 They have studied this around the world and say that this is nearly universal. In a wide range of cultures a boy often faces a difficult task to prove his manhood and even when he succeeds he must continue to prove his manhood throughout his life.

Generally at puberty and beyond boys are expected to prove their worth. According to a leading expert on this topic, Joseph Vandello, “manhood must be earned and maintained through publicly verifiable actions.”24   This unwritten mandate leaves men and boys anxious about proving themselves. Vandello’s research has shown that men are indeed more anxious over this than are women and that in response to being challenged are likely to exhibit risky or maladaptive behaviors.”

Excerpt: Testosterone

Excerpt: Storytelling

Excerpt: Teaching boys about emotions

Excerpt: Helping Mothers be Closer to Their Sons, page 13-14

 

Research techniques have improved and are showing us some new sides of the hormone testosterone.  This excerpt is part of the section that talks about some of those discoveries.

Excerpt: Helping Mothers be Closer to Their Sons, page 13-14

mcb-cover-3d-2-4-8“For many years scientists have tried to solidify a connection between testosterone and aggression but have come up pretty much empty handed when it comes to trying to connect activational testosterone with aggression. They knew that when someone was aggressive their testosterone would rise but what they now suspect is that it was the aggression that was raising the testosterone, not the other way around. In other words, for years it was thought that testosterone was instrumental in causing aggression but now they are thinking it is the aggression that is raising the testosterone. In fact this latest thinking on testosterone helps us greatly in understanding the role of testosterone in the lives of boys and men.

What the scientists are beginning to believe is that testosterone is more about striving for status and then maintaining that status. In the words of one expert, Christoph Eisenegger, testosterone “increases an individual’s motivation and ability to acquire and defend social status.”11 This of course plays a large part in the social status hierarchies of boys and men. That is, who is on top who is second and who is last. It’s easy to see how winning confers status and testosterone encourages us to win contests and strive for status.

But how does testosterone do this? Researchers have now confirmed that testosterone not only pushes boys and men to win it does so with a variety of help along the way. They now know that testosterone decreases fear and increases risk taking. It is much easier to strive for status and to win when our fear is diminished and we are more willing to take risks. The fearful person is more likely to sit on the sidelines. The one more likely to take risks is the one we would expect to jump in.”

Excerpt: Precarious Manhood

Excerpt: Storytelling

Excerpt: Teaching boys about emotions

Excerpt – The Way Men Heal – Brain Differences and Testosterone

twmh-prlogScientists have now determined that at 2 months in utero the male fetus is flooded with the mother’s testosterone thus turning the baby boy’s brain into what is being called a “male brain.6” The male brain is being characterized as a problem solving brain or maybe more accurately a brain that is built for understanding and building systems. This can be contrasted with the female brain, which is being seen as a relational brain or a brain that is built to empathize. These characterizations do not mean that men can’t empathize or that women can’t problem-solve. Far from it. It simply suggests that on average the male brain is better suited to understand and build systems and the female brain is better suited to empathize.

This experience when the testosterone floods the baby in utero does not only happen for baby boys. Sometimes it happens with baby girls. Some are estimating that it happens for girls at a rate of about 20%7. When the flood occurs in a baby girl guess what happens? Her brain becomes more like the male brain and her brain is better suited to understand and build systems. This is critical to understand. Both men and women can possess what is being called the male or female brain. The researchers are estimating that 20% of women have male brains and 20% of men have female brains. They go on to say that another 20% of both sexes have “hybrid” brains which means they have a blend of the two8. These ideas help us understand why many people say there are really no gender differences between men and women. They point to the fact that their dear Aunt Sally always wanted to play linebacker for the Packers and their uncle Mort loved romance novels. And they are probably correct. There is a wonderful variation among men and women and there are no solid lines marking black and white. It’s all grey! But here is the rub. Most men, about 60-80%, have male brains, and most women, about 60-80% have female brains. There is about 20% of both sexes that are in the middle and then a minority of about 20% who have the brain of the opposite sex. Remember though, that the exception does not disprove the rule. Because of this if we compare men and women we may not see dramatic differences since this isn’t a black and white differentiation. However, if we compare those men and women who have a purely male brain from those men and women who have a purely female brain the differences will likely start to stand out in greater contrast. If you are a man this book will likely be of help to you but there are also quite a few women who will be able to relate to its contents. It is for this reason that we simply can’t make claims about all men doing things one way and all women doing them another. It’s more complicated than that. However, it is also clear that the majority of men will have a male brain and be more likely to follow the masculine path and it is indeed those men and the masculine women who this book addresses.

It’s easy to see how someone with a brain that values problem solving and building systems would be much more likely to seek out an action to help “solve” the situation with their emotional chaos. Basically, if one has a brain that is best suited to empathize then they would be likely to turn to an empathic solution if stressed or traumatized and that would more likely be the default feminine type healing.