A number of workshops, groups, and trainings are offered throughout the year. Please contact the office of Dr. Randy Beggs for further information or questions.


Healing from Sexual Trauma
Healing from sexual trauma for men and women is at best difficult - at worst, it destroys innocence, the sense of childhood, the sense of self, and the human spirit.  For men, additional issues may arise as one works toward a process of healing.  Our culture and society teaches men that they should be strong, able to protect themselves, and to demonstrate - "no sissy stuff".  Issues of dominance and power often arise when men are abused by men.  When a man is sexually abused by a female, adolescent lore can encourage, through peer relationships, a sense of pride in the event - the myth that having sex is desired by all boys, the more sex the more masculine the adolescent, and finally the defining moment of moving from boyhood to manhood.  When a man is sexually abused by another male, questions of sexual orientation may arise, the shroud of secrecy may be constructed, the experience of shame and guilt for failure to protect the self may emerge, the male victim may see the abuse as something that occurred out of his own desire. The physical body of the man may respond even to abusive stimulation - an orgasm may even occur.  The response of body to physical stimulation does not mean the victim enjoyed or desired the experience.  Therapy can provide education and clinical interventions to help men understand these complex issues and the effects on their and, perhaps, their families lives.

To address a point of advocacy and to help educate men and women, in some states laws, regarding the act of rape are constructed using language that renders rape of a male physically impossible.  The rape of a female by a perpetrator using a baseball bat, a bottle, or a pipe is not considered rape.  The state of Georgia, where the laws concerning rape have not significantly changed since 1861, defines rape as:

"A person commits the offense of rape when he has carnal knowledge of a female forcibly and against her will. Carnal knowledge in rape occurs when there is any penetration of the female sex organ by the male sex organ."  Other sexual assaults are prosecuted under criminal acts such as aggravated sodomy, sexual assault, sexual battery, prostitution, child molestation, solicitation for sodomy, pimping, pandering, incest, etc. Please advocate through state representatives for modification of the definition of rape.

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CAREGIVERS
An estimated 5.8 to 7 million informal caregivers provide care to persons 65+ who need assistance with activities of daily living. An estimated 25% to 41% of these caregivers are male.  An approximately 50% increase occurred in the number of male caregivers from 1984 to 1994.  While vast amounts of literature on caregiving and caregiver burden can be found, only a moderate percentage of the research addresses the aspect of male care providers.  Information about men who are sole, only-children, or the primary caregiver is lacking in today's current research literature.

Caregivers often find themselves in an isolating, loving, maddening, hopeful, confusing, giving, overwhelming and painful place. A deluge of emotions can erupt including joyful memories of childhood; sometimes terror as the encounter between child and parent becomes a reliving of old family dynamics that were painful.  These emotions, often conflicting and filled with ambiguity can place the caregiver in a state of bewilderment and confusion. 

Services offered to male caregivers include building self-capacities for tolerating intense feelings and ambiguity, enhancing one's capacity for attachment in caregiving relationships, and techniques of self-soothing.  The culturally defined gender conflict as male caregivers is discussed.  Finally, men who are only children or sole caregivers for their elders explore the 'exclusive contract' between the care recipient and the caregiver.

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Sexual Compulsivity
Certainly, no one would argue that sex has been around since the creation of man and woman nor that sexual compulsivity can lead to problematic lives and possible addiction. Many of experience sex as exciting, intimate, giving, receiving and, for those who desire children, one means of accomplishing impregnation.  What is sexual health? What is sexual deviance? What is compulsive sexual behavior? Experts in the field of sexuality argue the meaning of these terms in yearly conferences. 

Services and groups offered in my private practice do not judge evil or good behaviors, right or wrong desires and actions, or what is morally correct for a society or an individual.  For sex to be termed healthy, I believe there should be informed consent among those involved in given sexual behaviors.  Informed consent means more than saying 'yes', it also involves the mental and psychological capacity of an individual to say 'yes' in a given setting at a given time.  In my belief, informed consent does not include hurting, killing or harming of the body. Informed consent also implies lack of damage to the psyche or to an individual in any way regardless of what permissions a sexual partner(s) grants. Finally, I believe sexual activity involving children and animals falls absolutely into the category of sexual deviance.  Individuals who reveal such information are deserving of help; however, I refer these individuals to other clinicians and the proper authorities when legally or ethically mandated.

Sexual activity and compulsivity is problematic when there is an escalating pattern of sexual behaviors acted out despite increasing consequences to self or others (Society for the Advancement of Sexual Health, modified).  Individual and group therapy focus on identifying problematic sexual behavior, providing tools to increase self-capacities, learning to moderate and manage intense feelings, managing of impulse control, countering the 'tunnel vision effect' thinking as the brain becomes more engaged in arousal.

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Learning from Therapeutic Failure
As therapists, we struggle for acceptance of our imperfections as healers while ever striving to simultaneously move toward greater effectiveness in our work. Exploration of feelings and belief systems regarding failure in therapeutic practice offers an additional manner in which therapists can improve the quality of ethical client care.

Early failure experiences of the therapist-self and the messages received regarding lack of success in gaining perfection are interwoven with one’s interpretation and personal owning of therapeutic failure. This workshop offers participants an opportunity to examine definition(s) of failure and success through the use of experiential and didactic material. Reframing of therapeutic failures can help the healer accept lack of perfection, expand the possibilities of client defined success, and contribute to both personal and professional growth.

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Mirror Mirror On the Wall . . . Changing Views of the Male Body
Mirror, Mirror on the Wall . . . sponsored by The Men’s Project explores the roots of male body obsession, masculinity, men and eating disorders, the quest for muscularity and the concerns of men beyond muscle and fat.

The educational workshop offers men the opportunity to begin to examine their feelings about eating, food, and weight, the messages carried in their bodies, the experience of manhood and their relationship to self, truth, soul, and body.

The workshop is a reflection about men, body image, and the objectification of the male body through cultural and social shaping. The offering forms a connectedness of creative process and the human spirit as a way of giving voice to the struggles, joys, and fears of living in a male body in today’s society.

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Reflections of Male Body Image
This advanced experiential workshop uses a combination of art, creativity, and discussion to explore how participants experience life in their bodies in an age of culturally defined expectations. The workshop will assist participants in giving voice to the struggles, fears, and joys of living in their male body.

The workshop is co-led by Comer Rudd-Gates, MA, LPC. Comer is a registered art therapist working with individuals struggling with body image and eating disorders.

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What’s Love Got to Do With It?
“When we reveal ourselves to our partner and find that this brings healing rather than harm, we make an important discovery - that intimate relationship can provide a sanctuary from the world of façades, a sacred place where we can be ourselves, as we are . . . This kind of unmasking - speaking our truth, sharing our inner struggles, and revealing our raw edges - is sacred activity, which allows two souls to meet and touch more deeply.”
John Welwood

The workshop explores the myths, dimensions and types of love. Attachment styles are examined as well as the differences between love as a noun and love as a verb.

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The Cult of Masculinity
A workshop for men who wish to enhance their understanding of sex, drugs, muscles, masculinity, appearance expectations and the passages of life in the gay community.

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Intimacy Among Men
Gay men can be perplexed and challenged when faced with issues of intimacy. The puzzle continues to appear - with parents and siblings, with friends, and with partners in romantic relationships. Our culture and society have heavily influenced traditional views of being gay and masculine. Role models for gay men have often reinforced restrictions on intimacy and its exploration. This group experience focuses on helping group members explore and enhance their sense of intimacy with family, friends, partners and the self.

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Office Address:One Decatur Town Center
150 East Ponce de Leon Avenue Suite 350
Decatur, Ga 30030
  
phone: 404.226.9814
fax: 770.498.0464
Email: drjrbeggs@mindspring.com