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Counselling for Men Facing Challenges in Life.

Counselling: Reflections on Men's Midlife Crisis

Fourth Decade of Life

In the fourth decade of life, a midlife crisis or crisis of limitations (Rohr’s term) is more likely to happen. It is the moment where we all feel discomfort in “acknowledging that high school graduation occurred more than twenty years ago” (Kraft, 2000, p. 109). It is the moment where deep, meaningful and reflective questions show up like: “is our past dreams, goals, and ideals have been fulfilled or unfulfilled? Have my personal and professional goals been reached? Have I truly lived according to my values and ideals? Have I grown? Am I growing? Have I made a significant contribution to life? Have I stop dreaming?” (Kraft, 2000, p.109).

The midlife crisis or ‘midlife desert’ (as Kraft like to name it) “is permeated with the dreadful and redeeming experience of limits. Initially, we experience the limits of our physical selves” (Kraft, 2000,p.110).

I am Felipe Oliveira, holder of a Masters in Counselling with almost six years of experience in the Authentic Male Journey myself. Feel free to contact me by mobile, e-mail or social media for an informal chat or to book a session.

Midlife Crisis

This is a glimpse of midlife crisis and its challenges. Kraft - professor of psychology in USA who focuses on at the area of integrating psychology and spirituality from an existential-phenomenological perspective - divides the second half of life in midlife adulthood (39 to 49 years), middle-aged adulthood (49 to 59 years), and the elder years (60 years to above).

Felipe Oliveira provides counselling for men facing challenges in life.

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Men's Crisis & The Wandering Stage of Life

Felipe Oliveira provides counselling for men in midlife crisis. Click here to know more about his work. Or, please, continue reading this short article about the crisis of limitation and the gift of life experience among men above their forties.

Blog for Men

Psychospiritual Changes

Due to our physical manifestation, “we first become aware of our psychospiritual changes. Fatigue, weakness, tension, and depression are indications that something has happened and is happening. Such experiences speak to us, and we can listen to them. Weariness may mean that we have been overactive. Tension and anxiety may be telling us that we are overextended and fragmented. Depression may be saying that we have lost our spirit in our frenetic pursuit to “make it” (or be successful and look smart). The limits of our physical selves may be telling us to seek more than the limited” (Kraft, 2000,p.110). (That’s when some grief work might be necessary).


Initiation into the Second Half of Life

That is the turn in point, where an ‘initiation’ must happen. A process of initiation into the second half of life must start. It is the crux of the Authentic Male Journey that will, ultimately, awake the True Self within. A moment where one might find his True Purpose. It is just as Allan Watts and Jim Carry have been talking, lately, about taking out the mask, and checking who you really are behind the scenes. Kraft describes this experience as painful but redeeming. It is the experience where a man will confront his deceptive and foolish selves (loyal soldiers). “The midlife crisis is the place where we are unveiled, demised and exposed. We come face-to-face with the ways we have deceived ourselves and others (acknowledging our default behaviors and ways of think, in order to awake to the Authentic Self). It is the time when we are pressured to realize how we did not live according to the values we professed, how we said one thing and did another, and how we convinced ourselves to believe what isn’t so… as our midlife crisis pressure us to see more truthfully and to do better, our repressed and rationalized truth demands examination” (Kraft, 2000, p.111).

Meaningful and Deep Examination
It is during the midlife crisis that some meaningful and deep examination must occur. A wise and promissory way to know who one really is is to identify and acknowledge the ‘no’s one received in life - as Parker Palmer says. After four decades of life, a man has the gift of life experience and is able to learn through his feelings, emotions, deep desires and dreams he felt, achieved and turn or not into reality. It is examining the disappointments and the failures of a lifetime that the Real Yes’s will show up when a man is ready. The hard is to know when and which lessons we must learn to be ready. It is the moment where the five truths about life hit hard: life is hard, we are not in control, life is not about you, we are not that important, and we are going to die.

Join the club, brother.

Just breath, surrender, let go and spend some time in nature.


Kraft, W.F., 2000. Ways of the Desert: Becoming holy through difficult times. New York: Haworth.