Young men today are less motivated to create extraordinary lives because they aren’t equipped with the skills to turn their dreams into reality. How can we be relatable parents and instill the fundamentals of manhood so our sons can reach their full potential?
In this episode of the Dad Edge Podcast, we talk with Gregory Koufacos. Greg is the founder and CEO of Velocity Mentoring. He is an addiction professional with almost 15 years of experience. He holds a Master’s Degree in Psychology from The New School for Social Research. He is a Licensed Clinical Alcohol and Drug Counselor and a Nationally Certified Recovery Coach.
Gregory is also the author of the book named “Primal Method” which he will discuss along with the issues between a father and a son. We will also talk about relationships, marriages, and the challenging transition of becoming a man in today’s world.
Don’t tolerate a mediocre relationship. Try to make it the relationship of your dreams.
The Primal Method: A Book for Emerging Men
The general public is starting to recognize what parents, teachers and therapists have known for years: we are losing our young men. Now more than ever, emerging men between 16 and 35 find themselves stuck in limbo between adolescence and adulthood. Addictions, anxieties, egos, and overwhelming expectations leave them trapped in childhood, frustrated with their lives, and feeling forced to cope with drugs, porn, and video games. For too many young men, this vital period has gone from a stage of emergence to a state of emergency.
In The Primal Method, addiction counselor and therapist Gregory Koufacos draws from his extensive background with troubled young men to identify what has gone wrong, why traditional therapy often fails, and how emerging men can break their debilitating cycles. Using vivid examples from his professional career and own life, Koufacos demonstrates the use of the walking cure, Miyagi mentoring, emphatic challenge, and other techniques that harness young men’s primal motivation to live a life of power and purpose.
What You’ll Learn
Gregory grew up in New Jersey. He is the eldest of the three brothers, and his father immigrated from Greece in his late 20s which is exciting for Gregory. During summers, Greg and his family would go back to Greece. At an early age, he became exposed t two different cultures, specifically the American and Greek Cultures.
Gregory grew up in an era where there were strong male role models in the community. He would seek those men out like a sponge and just soak in all of their wisdom, their power, and confidence.
Respecting his Father
What led Gregory to the respect he had for his father came from the going to journey of himself becoming a father. He always judged his father and what closed the gap n term of his deep respect for his father was when he decided to stop judging him and just focus on himself. He found that the journey is not easy for any of us.
The job that his father had never excited him. It was a means to an end. His father was very good at his career, and he’s a smart man. He’s a mathematician and physician, but it didn’t set his soul on fire.
A Message to Fathers
Greg recommends to fathers to tell their kids who they are and what sets their soul in fire. Let your kids see who you truly are.
Gregory’s Wife and Kids
When Gregory had his daughter, it opened his heart where he didn’t realize that it was closed. He didn’t think that he could love another human being so selflessly. His kids pushed him to provide a great life, and he is very happy about that.
Gregory and his wife had been married for almost 14 years, and it has been a crucible for intense growth for both of them. They both care and love each other deeply, and fortunately, they are working through that. They have managed to the most important thing to stay and keep going in the direction they need to go.
According to Gregory, don’t settle and tolerate a mediocre relationship. Try to make it the relationship of your dreams. That is our vision as men.
The Choices in a failing relationship
According to Gregory, there are 4 choices in a failing marriage or relationship.
- Get a divorce
- Stay or stick it out and suffer
- Choosing that you are one of the lucky ones that have a good marriage
- You take it as your own personal duty and mission to breathe the life of love and joy and happiness into your relationship no matter what
Keeping the Relationship at an Optimal Level
The one thing that has worked for Gregory and his wife’s marriage is they give each other to breathe. If their marriage needs oxygen, they will get it. They would go on couple’s retreats, which really helped them where somebody could guide them in that process.
Reaching Out to Young Men
Gregory believes that his commitment to working through the obstacles and difficulties in staying in the course of his marriage helped him reach down to young men a ask them t work through their own battles.
For Gregory, he knows the same frustrations, fears, and delusions that young men are crippled by, which he is also struggling with, but he’s fighting the good fight. Therefore, he can speak to them with authority and wants the young to fight the good fight because it is worth it. It creates a bond between him and the young men he works with.
Gregory is not coming to young men as an expert who solved everything in his life. He believes he is a few steps ahead and may be able to offer something, and they may be able t offer something to him as well. He says that we are all in this together. He tells young men that the only difference between him and young men is that he is higher up the mountain.
According to Gregory, the only difference between himself and the young men he is working with is the degree of difficulty and the stakes. Fortunately, he has the tools to go on the journey he’s on, and they can get it too. They have to acquire the tools to go on the journey
Being a Relatable Parent
Larry says that when you’re human, that makes you relatable. When you’re relatable, you create psychological safety within people to tell you what’s truly on their minds and heart. When something goes wrong in their life, he doesn’t want his kids to be afraid of him, but instead, when something goes wrong, he wants them to know that they can count on him. You are creating a bond and connection where there is no judgement, only guidance.
Gregory works in the field of addiction counseling. He has worked for about six or seven years in different rehabilitation settings. According to him, all the rehabilitation settings have one commonality: they provide a lot of structure. Within that structure, he saw individuals who were capable of making miraculous transformations.
Gregory found out that traditional therapy and approaches that he was trained in were not helping young men. He grew frustrated. With the desire for a real transformation, he decided not to meet in his office anymore and instead, go outside and do something. That decision to leave the office knocked a whole pattern into place, and he started doing things intuitively.
Writing his Book
Gregory made a decision to write about it and figure out what it was that he was doing. That journey lasted about four years and culminated in the book, Primal method. He outlined different tools that he has identified commonly in the work he has done with young men.
Gregory wrote the book to appeal and be read by a young man. He wanted the readers of the book to know that he is offering something of value. And that it should be read by fathers and people that are in the lives of young men.
Gregory believes that that the book can be read by a professional, a parent, or a young man. He hopes that it reaches young men.
The Premise of the Book
The book’s premise is that you are missing the boat by talking to a young man. What will reach this young, emerging male is not talking to them. It’s action and connection.
Gregory says that even if your son is listening to you as you’re telling him the ways of the world, it’s not reaching him at the deeper level because he’s not implementing it. He’s not gaining knowledge through experience. It’s just information that makes sense to him. One of the big premises is instead of talking at your kid, get into action and do something with him. Doing that cultivates a sacred bond, which is achieved by two men sharing an experience.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is to do things with these young men and make it have stakes on both ends. Let them see you striving as a man who is not perfect. Pick something that they’re better than you, or show them what it’s like for a man to enter an arena where he’s uncomfortable and to do his best or something in that creates a very special bond between men.
Gregory’s message to society
Gregory’s message to society is to stop pumping young men full of lies. Stop telling young men that this is how life works. He wants society to stop lying to them and just tell the truth about life, about themselves to the best of your ability. For him, that’s what he wants. He doesn’t care about how he wants life to be. He wants to know how life is.
Gregory’s Final Advice
Gregory advises to not pick something that puts you on an elevated status. Pick something where the two of you are equal. Let your son see how you go through life when you’re not the expert. We’re not experts. We’re all men on the journey of life. And life is way bigger than all of us. Humble yourself, and show your son how you go through the process of becoming a man.
Gregory Koufacos’s Links
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