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Primal Method - Book Review

Author: Gregory Koufacos

Rating: 3/5

The Primal Method is a book detailing the author’s life-work at cultivating his own theory and application of psychotherapy. Over the course of the book, Gregory Koufacos details his personal life events and professional events that developed and shaped his therapeutic intervention. The Primal Method is focused on a male to male bond that Gregory Koufacos perceives as a primary problem young men face in society nowadays. He demonstrates the havoc that this can create in a young man’s life through multiple case examples and how facilitation of that bond can create a successful outcome.

The best takeaway for me as a counselor is that the author has a “cut the bullshit” mentality which was the level of accountability he would create with his clientele. There’s something about being real with clients at times that can really make or break the therapeutic outcome. Gregory Koufacos definitely has a preference for creating authentic relationships and utilizing those relationships as the building blocks to help people rebuild their lives.I really enjoyed his concept of Miyagi Mentoring as creating a total commitment to engaging in humbling activities to evidence a person’s ability to build up to better things and maintain that commitment. I also related to his utilization of diakinetics (using movement in interventions), the agora energy (social energy), and primal exploring (which is challenging yourself to get active and be open to new experiences).

I will say that one of the more difficult aspects of this book for me to accept is the author’s belief that this therapy is only important to men and can really only be enacted by men. There are times where he alludes to only males being able to serve as the role model that is needed for the bond and true success of the intervention. I also will say that I disagree with the author’s position that men are taught too much empathy and aren’t challenged enough as children. I don’t believe boys, until recently, are taught much empathy as children. I will agree with the fact that boys aren’t challenged enough in formalized settings. There’s too much of the “boys will be boys” mentality that still permeates our culture. The other thought that I struggle with is his belief that “men are shackled with responsibility.” To me, that makes it sound like men are the only ones who are shackled by a sense of responsibility, even though we have only recently started to see more shared responsibility of the household tasks and child-rearing. I believe women feel equally shackled by responsibility, and that it shouldn’t be a “male issue” that needs to be addressed.

I gave this book a 3 out of 5 stars. The theory of Gregory Koufacos practice really resonates with me and I naturally utilize some of the interventions he outlined. I will admit there were moments during reading where I would cringe at the loss of confidentiality and boundaries when he would discuss the amount of time he spent with clients outside of the office. I think there is a way that he could have encouraged his clients to engage in some of the therapeutic activities without him being present. The only other reason I struggle to give this book 5 stars is because he frequently alludes to this being a male only intervention. For men, by men. That doesn’t really leave a lot of room for women to try to help with this intervention. I don’t believe the author intended for this theory and presentation to come off as misogynist, but he didn’t really give ideas or thoughts for how women could help in this type of intervention, or even be helped by this intervention.

This book would be perfect for a male that is stepping into a role-model position of other males. Any males that are school teachers, coaches, community leaders, etc. would benefit from reading this book to increase the level of impact they may have on the young men they interact with on a daily basis. It gives actionable steps that those male role-models can take and breaks down the importance of those efforts. They should know that it would be a time intensive process that they cannot afford to do with each individual they encounter. As a male influence, if you encounter an adolescent male (or someone who identifies as male), who doesn't seem to have a support system, role-model, or positive relationships in their life to help keep them accountable, you may want to consider this theory for intervention.

12 Year-Old Boy Review

Rating: 4.5/5

In my opinion this book would be for anyone who is struggling, wants a fresh start, and who is just an inch away from giving up. Whenever you feel like all hope is lost, think of how far you can go, how you can get to the top and how far you have come! At one point he said that the lesson surfing gives is to push through the hardship of life and to always look forward and to never lose your footing. want you to think, there will be no giving up this time, now I'm going to be on top, I am going to win the battle, and I'm going to win the war.

At first I thought that it was odd that his office would allow him to go and take people out of the office, and I still am a bit. I’m glad that he could get to know every single one of those people that were down low and changed them to wonderful people. For example, he developed a friendship with someone named Keith and got him to take care of himself and be more open to new things. Gregory also realized that it’s better to be outside because you feel free.

Yes, what he does is a slow process and takes years and years of work but that is the most important, and inspiring part about it. Though I wonder how many clients a day he has because after 2 or 3 people I would be tanked. He talked about how at one point in his life he was doing badly with school and tried to manipulate his way through and his teacher would not back down to that and that changed him.

He said that people try to hoard, do drugs, smoke, eat all to fill a void that is caused by no sense of purpose and much more. He met a man that advised him by saying “you cannot have any self pity in life, no blaming other people it’s all on you and you don’t know if you will get another chance in life so live it to the fullest.” I think the lesson that was given was that you should try to enjoy life but also respect it.

I think the idea of this book was to tell a reader, believe in yourself and don’t give up. ~TS

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Read our review of The Stone Boys. A book also by Latah Books.

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