116: Re-Authoring the Narrative Identities of Men with Dr. Jared Defife

When you sit down with your family around the dinner table, the storytelling begins. Have you ever noticed who is doing the storytelling? Typically, women and mothers in families are the ones who tend to elaborate and go in-depth with their storytelling, while men oftentimes may be more reserved with their explanations. The ways that families reminisce and dialogue about their lives have a significant impact on how children develop their adult identities. Humans are storytelling creatures, but when men are not supported in developing their storytelling muscles, it can lead to lost pieces of their identities. In this episode, I talk with Dr. Jared DeFife about his work supporting men who deal with rejection sensitivity, depression, and more. Specifically, we discuss how these experiences take on different characteristics in men than women, and how storytelling may impact men’s ability to connect with himself and heal. Take a listen to learn more about how to put yourself back in the author’s seat and regain your narrative identity. About Dr. Jared DeFife: Dr. Jared DeFife is a clinical psychologist in private practice. He’s also an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Psychology and Behavioral Science at the Emory University School of Medicine. Jared is passionate about helping “intense” people integrate interpersonal and personality-focused therapies drawing from schema-focused and mentalization-based therapies into their lives. Some Questions I Ask:
  • What’s the template for the type of clients you attract? (11:32)
  • Do you think it’s hard for men to respond to depression screeners? (15:06)
  • When does the narrative disappear for men? (20:05)
  • How does one begin to re-author their life? (31:23)
  • What resources would you recommend for learning more about this? (52:47)
In This Episode, You Will Learn:
  • About Jared’s work with men who experience rejection sensitivity and depression. (2:53)
  • How Jared transformed his approach as a therapist to connect with and reach men. (10:45)
  • How depression manifests itself differently in men and women. (11:52)
  • How language use and narratives impact how men perceive their struggles. (16:09)
  • What different types of emotionally unavailable men look like. (32:19)
  • What tools Jared uses to help men become the authors of their own stories again. (36:02)
Resources: Jared Defife’s Website I Don’t Want to Talk About It by Terrence Real The Mask of Masculinity by Lewis Howes Deepening Psychotherapy with Men by Fredric Rabinowitz Deepening Group Psychotherapy with Men by Fredric Rabinowitz Under Saturn’s Shadow:  The Healing and Wounding of Men by James Hollis