I have often been asked how I came to be known as an "expert” in the area of “Men’s Work," the work of helping men develop a deeper understanding of masculinity. I started my professional career working with rough inner-city kids who made their way into residential treatment. My master’s degree in counseling and master’s degree in social work were a great combination for working with these young men putting their lives back on track.
During my 25 years in private practice as a psychotherapist, I became fascinated with the challenges that men face in achieving healthy lives, enhancing relationships and reaching their potentials. I later established the Illinois Men’s Institute and Voyager Experience to challenge and inspire men to mature into responsible, actively involved, caring men who could become incredible husbands, fathers and friends.
I have been married for over twenty-eight years and have one son. I continue to enjoy challenges and adventures associated with fatherhood.
My hope is that the "A Man’s Mind" column will offer insight and practical advice and will respond to questions submitted by men either in the divorce process or have endured the process and are seeking guidance related to incredible journey of fatherhood. The focus will be to encourage, support and offer advice to men who may feel they are alone as they plunge into the wondrous adventure of fatherhood. I have assembled an advisory council of fathers from different backgrounds, years of experience and wisdom to offer practical advice. Although the column is geared to divorced fathers, there will be plenty of information for fathers or men in general.
Divorced fathers need to recognize they are not alone, but are surrounded by many men with experience and answers to guide and mentor them. It simply takes five words “Ask for what you need.”
Richard Avdoian is an employee development expert who works with businesses and associations committed to recruit, train and retain highly motivated productive employees. He has worked with clients in over forty different industries providing programs and consulting services in the area of personal achievement, teamwork, and customer service.
Richard Avdoian formed TeamWork By Design, a consulting firm in 1995 and he is a nationally recognized speaker who offers keynote speeches, workshops, and executive & business coaching.
In July, 2003 he received the designation of Certified Speaking Professional (C.S.P.) from the National Speakers Association and International Federation for Professional Speakers, the highest earned level of excellence attainable in the industry and a distinction representing the top 10 percent of all members of the profession.
In October, 2006 he was honored by Niagara County Community College and inducted into the Distinguished Alumni Gallery in recognition for his personal and professional accomplishments and community service.
Drawing on his 26 years in private practice as a psychotherapist, Richard founded the Illinois Men’s Institute and Voyager Experience to challenge and inspire individuals to achieve a healthier balance in life, enhance relationships and reach their full potential.
He received his A.A. degree in liberal arts from Niagara County Community College, B.A. degree in sociology & minority studies and master degree in counseling from Niagara University, New York. He also earned a master degree in social work from Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri.
© Richard J. Avdoian, MS, MSW, CSP (2009)