Mark Forman (Part 3) – Hot Button Issues in Mental Health & Psychotherapy: Trauma, Transgender, Psychedelics, SuperShrinks, Feminism’s Shadow & the Loneliness Epidemic

Mark Forman Psychotherapy Feminism Male Female Relationships

Integral psychotherapist Mark Forman, author of the seminal work A Guide to Integral Psychotherapy, doesn’t mince words when it comes to the field he is passionate about: helping people out of their mental pain and dysphoria. Mark’s Integral perspective and longtime work in the trenches—with clients from all income levels, political persuasions, and levels of development—put him in a unique position to illuminate us as to the nuances of the hot button issues new to psychotherapy or ones that have suddenly exploded in numbers: misuse of the term trauma and its diagnostic creep, what the research says about the effectiveness of psychedelics to treat mental health disorders and what that portends for the future, the exponentially growing trend of teenage girls deciding they are transgender and the crying need for more data to help with counseling transgender and trans-curious youth, what is causing the loneliness epidemic, the pressing need to reimagine the male role to balance how feminism has changed the female role, and more. 

Mark describes the “therapeutic zone” that can happen in therapy when inspiration strikes, and shares the latest research on what makes therapists into “super-shrinks” who have client outcomes ten times better than average. He also relates how living in our psychologized culture affects therapy, and how it can get tricky when therapist and client are at different levels of development. Mark’s vast knowledge and big heart shine through the many topics he delves into and his tales of actual therapeutic encounters are eye opening and moving. This is an impassioned, courageous conversation on the front lines of mental health and psychotherapy. Recorded May 4, 2023.

Human beings are a species designed for the genders to work together.

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Topics & Time Stamps – Part 3

  • The loneliness epidemic is a wicked problem: what are the causes of this culture wide problem? (01:28)
  • Mark’s longtime at odds-ment with feminism (03:59)
  • First wave feminism: setting men up as oppressive enslavers (05:34)
  • Enter Integral, with Ken Wilber writing that the oppression model is not an applicable social theory (09:36)
  • We are now at a place where men have been severely beaten down psycho-socially (12:34)
  • How men’s roles have flipped from the 1950s, to where we now expect men to be everything (15:31)
  • Do we need feminism to uphold women’s rights? (17:33)
  • Looking at the low self-esteem of boys (19:29)
  • Looking at male/female roles and the balance of genders at a very fundamental level: wars, stress & mortality rates (20:48)
  • Can men be feminists? Are women smarter than men? What does it mean to be a good woman or a good man? (30:34)
  • Reimagining and liberating the male role as the female role has been reimagined since the rise of feminism (33:07)
  • On the need for sacralizing our relationships (40:25)
  • Relational aggression by women (42:21)
  • Roger’s summary of the conversation and praise for Mark’s books (47:07)

Resources & References – Part 3

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Mark Forman Psychotherapy Feminism Male Female Relationships

Mark Forman, PhD is a licensed clinical psychologist with over twenty years experience working with individuals, couples, children, teens, and families. His text – A Guide to Integral Psychotherapy: Complexity, Integration, and Spirituality in Practice – is one of the seminal works in the field of Integral Psychotherapy. Dr. Forman is more recently the author of The Monster’s Journey: From Trauma to Connection, which is a reimagining of the The Hero’s Journey archetype for those who have suffered early childhood trauma. Dr. Forman has an academic background in philosophy and religion and is a long-term practitioner of yoga, reiki, martial arts, and meditation.


Podcast produced by Vanessa Santos and Show Notes by Heidi Mitchell


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