Intrinsic Drive™

Victims No Longer with Mike Lew

October 19, 2022 Phil Wharton - Wharton Health Season 4 Episode 1
Intrinsic Drive™
Victims No Longer with Mike Lew
Show Notes Transcript

As an eight-year-old boy from a large family, living together in a Brooklyn tenement, Mike Lew had a singular goal—to meet every person on the planet. Today,  Mike and his Next Step Counseling, co-director Thomas Harrigan, travel the world providing individual therapy, couples counseling, group therapy, professional training, and public lectures around the globe.

Mike is a psychotherapist and cultural anthropologist, specializing in the field of culture and personality. Working in tandem with Margaret Mead and Colin Turnbull as mentors, he became a leading expert on sexual abuse recovery, especially with male survivors.

A turning point came when Mike made an appearance on the Oprah Winfrey Show, he returned home from the male survivor episode to an offer to write a book on recovery. Mike’s book, Victims No Longer Harper Collins 2004, now in its second edition (first edition published in 1990), is the classic guide for men recovering from childhood sexual abuse. The book continues to receive accolades for its clinical expertise and compassionate tone. This essential resource educates survivors and professionals about the recovery process, speaking to the pain, needs, fears, and hopes of the adult male survivor. 

Mr. Lew has assisted thousands of men and women in their recovery and healing from childhood sexual abuse, rape, physical violence, emotional abuse, and neglect. He has consulted with the United Nations, National Institute of Mental Health, National Resource Center on Child Sexual Abuse, National Child Abuse Hotline, and the U.S. Navy, among many others. 

Mike has taught at The University of California Santa Cruz, Quinnipiac College, The College of New Rochelle, and The City College of New York. His second book, Leaping Upon The Mountains: Men Proclaiming Victory over Sexual Child Abuse was published by Small Wonder Books in 1999. 

Thom and Mike host Leaping Upon Mountains a transformative annual  recovery summit retreat, at the Kirkridge Retreat Center in Bangor, Pa. We are thrilled to welcome this tireless champion for survivors of sexual abuse to this episode of Intrinsic Drive™.

Intrinsic Drive™ is produced by Ellen Strickler and Phil Wharton and Andrew Hollingworth  is sound editor and engineer.  For more information on this and other episodes visit us at https://www.whartonhealth.com/intrinsicdrive.




Phil Wharton:

A lifetime of training, practice study, hard work through discipline, some achieve excellence, mastery, fulfillment, self actualization. What can we learn from their beginnings, discoveries, motivations and falls? How do they dust themselves off and resume their journey? During these interviews, stories and conversations, we reveal their intrinsic drive. As an eight year old boy from a large family living together in a Brooklyn tenement, Mike Lew had a singular goal to meet every person on the planet. Today, Mike and his next step counseling co- director Thom Harrigan traveled the world providing individual therapy, couples counseling, group therapy, professional training, and public lectures around the globe. Mike is a psychotherapist and cultural anthropologist specializing in the field of culture and personality. Working in tandem with Margaret Mead and Colin Turnbull as mentors, he became a leading expert on sexual abuse recovery, especially with male survivors. A turning point came when Mike made an appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show. He returned home from the male survivor episode to an offer to write a book on recovery. Mike's book, Victims No Longer is the classic guide for men recovering from Sexual Child Abuse. The book continues to receive accolades for its clinical expertise, and compassionate tone. This essential resource educates survivors and professionals about the recovery process, speaking to the pain, needs, fears and hopes of the adult male survivor. Mr. Lew has assisted 1000's of men and women in the recovery and healing from childhood sexual abuse, rape, physical violence, emotional abuse and neglect. He has consulted with United Nations National Institute of Mental Health, National Resource Center on child sexual abuse, National Child abuse hotline, and the US Navy, among many others. Mike is taught at the University of California Santa Cruz, Quinnipiac college, the College of New Rochelle, and the City College of New York. In his second book, leaping upon the mountains, men proclaiming victory over Sexual Child abuse was published by small wonder books in 1999. Thom and Mike host Leaping Upon Mountains, a transformative annual recovery summit retreat at the Kirkridge Retreat Center in Bangor, Pennsylvania. We are thrilled to welcome this tireless champion for survivors of sexual abuse to this episode of intrinsic drive. Mike, thanks so much for being with us today on intrinsic drive. It's such a pleasure to have you with us, and welcome to the show.

MIke Lew:

Thank you, Phil, it's my pleasure.

Phil Wharton:

Let's go to the beginning your Genesis, take us to the beginning of your journey with your work. And was it your work as a cultural anthropologist alongside Margaret Mead? And alongside Colin Turnbull? Or was there an inciting moment for you in this?

MIke Lew:

I don't know that there was a moment so much as it evolved, I, as you say, I was trained as a cultural anthropologist, and the specific focus is psychological anthropology, what's called culture and personality. And one of the things that you learn when you're training to be an anthropologist, first of all, is that every behavior makes sense. If you understand the context, and if you don't, if it doesn't make sense to you, it's either because you don't have enough information, or because you're trying to apply your perspective on to somebody else who doesn't share that perspective. The other thing you learn when you're training to be an anthropologist is to shut up and listen and pay attention. So, later, I got a master's degree in counseling psych and started working in private practice and I had a very general practice about equal numbers of men and women all ages, various presenting issues. And I was doing mostly short term work because I am not by nature a very patient person. To say if I were going to be a doctor, I would probably be a surgeon, my tendency would be to open people up, get rid of the problems, sew them up, and send them off.

Phil Wharton:

Wow.

MIke Lew:

But when I started working with trauma survivors, I got dragged kicking and screaming into doing longer and longer term work, because that's what's required. It's, there is no quick fix, there is no easy answer. I didn't know very much about sexual abuse, childhood sexual abuse, I was in no way an expert on sexual trauma. What I knew about incest was that every culture that I know of, has a taboo against incest. And I figured societies don't create taboos, just for the heck of it. You know, they, they do it because there's something going on that they want to prevent. So when my clients, both male and female, started talking about sexual abuse, and other sexual trauma in childhood and adolescence, I believed them, because I figured why would they make this up? And so I started looking for resources. And I I was at the time I was working in Boston and Cambridge, Massachusetts. And for those who don't know it, there are more therapists per capita in Boston and Cambridge than anywhere else, anywhere else on the planet, probably. And there is a group for everything. And I mean, literally everything. I once had a client who was a member of a support group for Catholic, lesbian, former nuns, who were in a primary relationship with Jewish Daughters of Holocaust survivors.

Phil Wharton:

Talk about niche niche niche.

MIke Lew:

And there were enough people for a group, yeah, wow. But there was no group for male survivors, and I thought that was odd. At the time, the only I was looking for resources. The only book that I found that was even remotely helpful was Judith Herman's first book called, Father Daughter Insest, which was a good book, but as you can tell from the title, not particularly directed toward male survivors. And in fact, at the time, in her first chapter, she wrote, fathers rarely abused their son's. Well, I didn't think that could be true, since that's not what I was hearing from my, from my male survivor clients. She also wrote that group was the treatment of choice for women who had been incestuously abused by their fathers. So I started looking for a group for one of my female clients. And I got her hooked up with a group that Judith Herman herself was leading. And it moved her recovery forward, exponentially.

Phil Wharton:

Okay. Okay.

MIke Lew:

So I started looking for a group for some of my male clients, and there was nothing, there's nothing in Boston, there was nothing in Cambridge, there was nothing in New England. And so in classic male fashion, what I did about it was I started to complain. And I complained to anyone who would listen largely to Judith Herman and her group of female therapists working with female survivors. And they let me complain way, way longer than probably I should have done, but they were patient. You know, and I was railing about the lack of services and the lack of resources. And finally, as they stay in Boston, the light dawned over Marblehead. And I said, Okay, I'll start a group. And the women therapists got very supportive, very encouraging. And I said, but I don't know anything. I'm terrified. They said, well, that's appropriate. They said, but don't worry. Because there's so much shame and fear and guilt and confusion around this subject, that it'll take you a couple of years, to get a group together, men will sign up and change their minds and, you know, call and not show up. So you'll have plenty of time to learn what you need to learn. But they didn't say where I was going to learn it. But okay, I was reassured, and I sent out a flyer to all of the counseling centers that I knew of, all of the departments of psychiatry and social work of the area hospitals, which their were many. And I put a small, tiny, classified ad in a local newspaper. And within a few weeks, I had two groups in a waiting list.

Phil Wharton:

Wow, okay, that quickly

MIke Lew:

Which amazed me, I still didn't know anything. But I figured the time was right, you know, people were ready. So I started these groups. And fortunately for me, survivors are very generous. And they taught me what I needed to know. And, you know, for anyone working with survivors, as long as you proceed with honesty and respect, you know, they will teach you what you need to know. The thing I always say in trainings with professionals is never lie to a survivor. You know, because the minute you do, you've lost them forever. And rightly so. Their expert, they've been lied to all their lives, and they're experts on lying, so you've got nothing to teach them in the area of lying. Be truthful, you don't have to tell them everything. But no. Be honest. So I had these two groups. And I also started talking to any, to anybody who would listen, I did local radio shows, l did TV shows, I spoke to community groups and schools and colleges and church groups. And mostly doing a lot of whining about the lack of awareness and the lack of services. And somehow, some assertive gene kicked in with me. And I sent I contacted the Oprah Winfrey Show, which at the time was a live show out of Chicago. And at first, they said, you know, thank you for your interest. But that's not something we're interested in doing right now. And then eventually, they got back to me and said they would, they wanted to do a show on male sexual abuse survivors. And they wanted me on as the so called expert. And they were also going to have a panel of male survivors.

Phil Wharton:

And this is before victims who hadn't written the text yet.

MIke Lew:

I'll get there. Okay, this was, this was a 1987, I believe, and people weren't talking about it. And there was this panel of three very courageous male survivors who came on to talk about their, their abuse history. And the power of the media. They flew me to Chicago, I had to get right back to my practice afterwards. So as soon as the show was over, they whisked me into a limousine drove me out to O'Hare Airport. And as I was boarding the flight, the flight attendant said to me, didn't I just see you on television?

Phil Wharton:

The power of that Yeah.

MIke Lew:

So I got home. And there were lots of messages on my answering machine. One of them was from an editor and publisher in New York, who said, I've been looking for someone to write a book about this subject. I think you're the person to do it. And I told him, No, you know, I am not a writer. I have never written anything I don't know how to do and he said, "come to New York and we'll talk". Okay. free trip to New York I'm there. So I get there. And he said, I think you can do it. And I said, No, I don't think I can never written anything in my life. He said, I'll help you. And I said, I will try. So I went home. I bought my first ever computer, one of those little old boxy. Mac's. Called my then 12 year old niece, and said, teach me how to use this thing. Which she did with a lot of eyerolling. Mike, everybody knows that. And without knowing where I was going, in nine months, I had a book. And I think I was very fortunate, because there was such a great need for a book on the subject, that if the book was terrible, people still would have latched on to it. And luck, and it could have done a lot of harm. Luckily, the book wasn't terrible. Now, it's I've improved it over the years, different editions. But, you know, it was a good book.

Phil Wharton:

Absolutely.

MIke Lew:

And you asked about what, you know, the impetus this changed my life. You know, it was as if somebody like kind of grabbed me by the hair and swung me around and let me go. Because I became an instant expert, long before I knew very much. And in fact, if I knew how little I knew then, I might never have written the book. So that's the way it all began. And now my work is primarily, it's overwhelming with adult male survivors, of all sorts of abuse in childhood and adolescence, and training professionals who either work with survivors or want to work with survivors, and basically that's it that's that's how that's the genesis of it all.

Phil Wharton:

Yes. And I think you've also taken us to your acent. I mean that inciting moment of being asked to be on the number one syndicated talk show in the world, just jettisoned you into a place that you I am not ready coach you know it as you say to your editor No Let we have something here let's move this forward. What about the discovery Mike? When you're going into what did you learn through experiences and events and what new things came to light? Mentors, coaches teachers like your editor in New York what was revealed?

MIke Lew:

Well, I've been lucky to have lots of really powerful mentors in my life. And some of the best of them just gave me room and said, you know, you can do it, go off do it without too much structure, or without too much pushing me in a specific direction. I am in awe of the way directions my life has turned. Because nothing was planned. I am not a planner. I barely know when where I'm going to have lunch today, let alone planning for the future. So the way I describe it is that I walk in one direction till I hit a wall bounce off and walk in another direction. And found myself on a career path which, well let me tell you a story. When I was a kid. My goal in life was to meet everybody in the world.

Phil Wharton:

Wow. That's a great goal.

MIke Lew:

I thought that was, and I thought that was a perfectly reasonable wonderful goal. And when I realized that, A, it wasn't going to happen, and B, if it did happen, your quality of the interaction wouldn't be terribly profound. I was really devastated. Because I thought, hey, this is really what I want.

Phil Wharton:

And how old were you now? Do you have a recollection of your age?

MIke Lew:

Eight, nine, ten. And without any conscious planning, I found myself doing work that comes as close to that goal, as I can imagine that I get to travel to these amazing places I've worked in with Aboriginal communities in Australia

Phil Wharton:

And New Zealand. Yeah. Asia, Africa.

MIke Lew:

Yeah. And it's, and I get to meet these extraordinary people. Powerful, courageous, smart. Understanding both the survivors and the people who care about partners, family, friends, and therapists.

Phil Wharton:

Advocates. Yeah, yeah.

MIke Lew:

And, you know, it's, it's kept me going, it's very exciting to me. And I have massive respect to the people I get to meet and work with, and I learn all the time. And I reckon if, if I stop learning, that's probably the time to quit. But you know, when you reach my age, you start getting these questions. Are you ever going to retire? And my response is, well, I'm doing work that I love, and that I'm passionate about. And working with phenomenal people. That's on the one hand, on the other hand, there's golf, and you know, I, I'm not that interested in golf. So as long as I'm able to, and passionate about the work, I'll continue to do it. And if I stop being passionate about it, then I'll look for something else.

Phil Wharton:

That makes total sense. And it feels like Mike some of these drives that urged you forward into the next question, almost came as that child that eight or nine year old, that wanted to meet everybody. And now you're bouncing against those walls or pulled in this direction, by an unseen force. That's put you into a world of powerful work, but play, you're actually playing at healing, you know, in a very remarkable way. So

MIke Lew:

You know, I think that when we do, when we follow our passion, we don't go too far wrong. I once I was doing a professional training years ago, and during one of the breaks a woman came up to me, and she was on a tear. She said, I don't know how you can do this work. It must be so difficult. It must be so painful, working with men who were sexually abused as boys. And she was going on and on and on. And when she paused for breath, I asked her, What do you do? And she said, Oh, I work with children with cancer. And I said, I wouldn't last five minutes working with kids with cancer, I'd be a mess. But it was what she did. It was her passion. And she really didn't think twice about it. Yeah. I think if you find that thing that you don't think twice about, because you love it. Yeah. It's work, but it's not debilitating.

Phil Wharton:

Yeah. Reminds me of a friend of mine when I lived in Flagstaff, who a fireman who was a smoke jumper. And he would just smile about it is Eric, how do you suit up and go into those? He goes, Hey, it's good work. It's the gift of good work. You know.

MIke Lew:

There you go. This is so beautiful. I think you know, it's like, what do you think about external or internal motivations for these drives that keep you going in this direction? Any of those that come to mind? Well, I'm probably not as deep a thinker as you are, but

Phil Wharton:

I don't know about that.

MIke Lew:

So I don't. I don't really analyze my motivation, I figure, if I think it's a good thing, and I'm able to do it, I do it. You know, my, my family, my parents were always encouraging good work, good works. And so I never felt held back by their by negative judgments. So. Again, I think it was both a positive and a negative, that there was no real body of existing information outright.

Phil Wharton:

That's right. That's right.

MIke Lew:

That, you know, I didn't have a whole lot of guidelines. I had to make my own mistakes. But they were mine to make. And some of the traditional guidelines, certainly, for work with male survivors of sexual abuse, some of the existing conventional wisdom is actually missing.

Phil Wharton:

Was flawed. So there was a gap, it was a gap there.

MIke Lew:

And a lot of that is because a lot of the work with men was based on work with sexual offenders. And what they did was that they extrapolated, men who were incarcerated for sexual offences, often claimed to have been abused as boys. And what people did with that was that they turned it around said that boys who were abused grew up to be offenders. And the reality is, the vast majority of male survivors, both male actually the vast majority of boys or girls who are, don't grow up to abuse. And in fact, many of them grow up to be protectors. You know, they've said, consciously or unconsciously, I know what it feels like to have experienced this. And I'm going to do whatever I can to make sure it isn't done to other kids, which is tremendous courage and generosity to supply to kids what they never received. And I think that's why we have, I believe we have an

Phil Wharton:

Yes. over representation of survivors in the helping fields, who are therapists in the medical professions and police and child protective workers. They're putting themselves into positions to protect and help kids. Yes. Yeah.

MIke Lew:

But I think that bite of the vampire theory, know that a boy who is abused, is gonna grow up to be an abuser, is one of the things that keeps a lot of male survivors silent. That's either the fear that they're repressing some, or the fear that people will see them as abusers if they disclose. And many male survivors have had that experience. It's happening less than it used to. But couple of decades ago, men could call a rape crisis center looking for help and be treated as if they were calling to confess. So you don't have to have that experience too many times to know that it's not safe to talk about.

Phil Wharton:

Again, another reinforcement to stay silent, which is the one thing that will stop your progress of healing or biggest. Mike in the fall or speed bumps we have here on the show. What about a lowest moment in your career or life overall? Was there an inciting a major event in this?

MIke Lew:

Maybe that's yet to come. I don't know.

Phil Wharton:

That's great,

MIke Lew:

There were times when I thought you know, this is too much for me. I get over that fairly quickly. Because the people I work with inspire me they energize me. I mean, it's work.

Phil Wharton:

Yeah, absolutely.

MIke Lew:

But it's, I get to spend my life around heros and, I don't know that many people can say that. In the work I do puts me in constant contact with heroic men, and people who care about those heroic men, and that's inspiring. And that's energizing.

Phil Wharton:

Absolutely. Absolutely. I was thinking maybe, you know, when I was reading the book and hearing so much about the testimonials from the Boston hearings in the clergy, with the sexual abuse cases and the devastation there, it was their time? Okay, maybe you felt okay. I can't quite reach enough people or maybe the Penn State uncoverings of the Sandusky trial for sexual child abuse there with the coaching? Was there any of those periods when gosh, if there was if there was more of us if we could do more?

MIke Lew:

Always. Yes, absolutely. In that sense. Because what I believe is that all of the major ills of society begin with the idea of children as property. Because if something is your property, you can do anything you like with it. You can sell it, you can kill it, You can harm it, you can sexually abuse it. Because it's your property. And I think if we can justify harming the weakest and most vulnerable members of society, we can justify anything. So we can justify racism and sexism and homophobia, anti semitism, anti Islam. And we can justify raping the planet, and we can justify war and Greed through our greed. Yeah, yes. Yeah. Yeah. So it starts with the kids. And that's huge. Now, and we need many more people recognizing this and working on this, and I'm just one guy. I'm an ordinary, you know, I'm a working class kid who is a child of an immigrant family. And I was the first person in my family to go to college. No, so from time to time I kind of look around and say now how did this happen? How did I get here? And can I handle this? And fortunately, there are more and more people who are sharing this vision that we have to start treating children with respect. We have to listen. And we have to shine a light on the abuse so that we can end it.

Phil Wharton:

That's right. Yeah, I love this piece you wrote it was an Op-ed piece. After the Penn State childhood sexual abuse case broke. The someone on the New York Daily News, I think team asked you to write this piece and it was you titled it Believe Them. And I just, you know, so powerful, you know, speaking to the need to increase or eliminate statute of limitations on prosecution of a child abuse, sex cases, survivors cannot be expected to speak out until they are ready and able to that, that timing. And so you know, no wonder that survivors especially males maintain their silence for so many years. Most of my clients range in their lives was 20's through 60's. It is unusual for males in their teens and 20's to begin to address these issues and begin a difficult and often painful journey of healing. And just such a powerful piece that unfortunately, they chose not to run but. On the anvil if you I think we recovered the rollback, because there's nothing you would do differently. I mean, you're pulled in this directions. And you know, maybe it's the hand of God or whatever you call it, you know, the higher power that's filling this gap. It's so needed. What would you think about an event or decision that forged you a defining moment that shaped your

MIke Lew:

Just just to back up a second. I'm not sure there destiny? aren't things I wouldn't do? I wouldn't do different.

Phil Wharton:

Oh, very good, good.

MIke Lew:

I don't spend a whole lot of time focusing on the woulda, coulda, shoulda.

Phil Wharton:

Got it.

MIke Lew:

There's too much work to be done.

Phil Wharton:

Excellent. Excellent. Excellent. That makes sense.

MIke Lew:

That said, repeat your question.

Phil Wharton:

Yes. Thank you. On the anvil, what about an event or decision that forged you a defining moment that shaped your

MIke Lew:

I'm not sure that I could tease one formative moment destiny? out. I think that everything that we experience contributes to our our arsenal, our understanding. And I don't think anything gets lost. I mean, you know, the years I spent as an academic, I learned a lot. That wasn't the lost time even though I'm not an academic and longer. But also, I've worked in a factory. I learned things working in a factory.

Phil Wharton:

Absolutely. Absolutely.

MIke Lew:

So, you know, as long as you can extract useful information and experience that all contributes to forming who you are. And I don't know that people really have one of those major AHA, epiphany moments. At least I didn't, you know, it's it was more of a gradual evolving, of understanding. Hopefully, now, some maturity and some more and more openness.

Phil Wharton:

Yeah.

MIke Lew:

Yeah. All these layers of experience. Yeah, that's created this, pulling you in this direction, created this idea of how you can now as an impatient as a self proclaimed impatient person, right, be such an amazing active listener, and ability to identify and be with these heroes, you know. But the experts, I mean, basically, you know, if I want to learn something, I go to the experts. And in the case of the work I do, the experts are the survivors. I'll say to somebody in the first meeting. You've lived with you for 50 years. I've known you for 10 minutes. Who's the expert here? That's right. I love that. That's so appropriate. Yeah. You know, and I think part of the learning of patience is to get past defensiveness. And I'll say to people I work with. You don't have to trust me. You know, that making trust a prereq. A prerequisite for a person whose trust has been damaged. Doesn't make sense. In fact, by the time people completely trust me, our work is pretty well done.

Phil Wharton:

And I love I love what you said at first, if I tell you, you have to trust me, walk away.

MIke Lew:

Yeah. Absolutely. You know, it's not important that you trust me it's important that I be trustworthy. Whether or not you trust me. And that the first time I get defensive, when you disagree with again, walk away. Because, you know, I expect people to test me I expect people to be wary. Why wouldn't they know and I don't have all the information. Part of the process of healing is giving me that information is figuring out a safe way to do that. And one of the things that I tell professionals when I do a training is the secret of doing a really good group or workshop for male survivors that I, it took me years to learn it, I just share it indiscriminately now. That is you create safety. And then you get the hell out of the way. And to the degree that you manage that, it's a double benefit for me. The male survivors accomplish the most impressive, brilliant, creative things. And I get the credit for it.

Phil Wharton:

If you're an egoist, you'd have a field day. No, I love that fact that you said look, in these male groups in these sexual abuse recovery groups, especially like the retreats, the compassion, there's a palpability have the energy, of that compassion, of that transference of that sharing that release of the silence and isolation dissipation.

MIke Lew:

And of course, well, I, I'm, I've become more and more convinced over the years, that isolation is the enemy of recovery. That abuse takes place in isolation and recovery has to happen in thecompany of others. But it's tricky. Because isolation can feel like safety. I'm by myself, nobody's gonna mess with me. But, but it's not safety, because it allows all of the abuse messages, the negativity, hopelessness, the helplessness, to replay like a tape loop, without anything or anyone to contradict them. And nobody, can understand a male survivor better than another male survivor, which is why group and workshops are so essential. I had one guy in one of my groups who kept saying, you know, in most of my life, I feel like, I'm speaking a different language than everyone else. And I come to a group and everyone understands.

Phil Wharton:

That's beautiful. Yeah. Yeah. In your journey now, Mike, what's most important to you and the work now? What does the road ahead look like for you? And Thom, with Next Step Counseling and what's next?

MIke Lew:

Well, one of the things is encouraging more and more people who are interested in doing this work. You know, I'm not likely to be around too many more decades. And I think the work has to continue. And it can't be dependent on me, it can't be dependent on Thom. It has, you know, there have to be people committed to doing it. All over the world. And specifically, people have to be trained to do it within their own communities. So, I mean, as I've said, I say I've worked with Aboriginal groups in Australia. But the most effective work would be by Aboriginal workers. However, that's defined. You know, I've worked with Latinos and African Americans. Yeah. But they don't come. They don't show up in droves. Why would they? Why would they trust this old white guy? So the more people who, you know, who take this on within their own communities, the better I think I know when I've worked, I remember one time. I did a very large training in New Mexico for Native American groups. And there were people from all sorts of tribal backgrounds from all over, mostly the western United States. And what they were anticipating, was this old white guy was going to show up and tell them what to do. And what I asked at the beginning was I said, you're an ancient culture. You've learned a lot. Tell me what you've learned. Tell me what works for you. And tell me what you still need. And they weren't used to hearing that from an old white guy. Right. But what I've learned, without exception, anywhere in the world I've worked with any group I've worked with, is if you approach people with respect, they respond. I mean, that's, this isn't rocket science. Treat people with respect, and they will respond.

Phil Wharton:

It's being human. The human experience. Oh, I love this. And Mike, if you look back in the slipstream of your life and think about any parting gems of advice or wisdom you'd like to leave with us today?

MIke Lew:

Well, I think that what I'd like to say to survivors, and I guess to people care about survivors as well, is that I know that recovery is possible. That it's real. It matters. And it's possible. And I know this is true, because I've seen hundreds and hundreds of survivors, male and female, all around the world, actively engaged in the recovery process, actively making changes in their own lives, in their families and in their communities. So you know, it's a hard job, turning these negativities around. But the results, the results are worth the effort. Change happens. And the change is profound.

Phil Wharton:

Yeah, and please, folks, I mean, go out and get this updated and revised edition. I have it right here on my desk. And it's just been such a blessing for me as I start my journey. Victims No Longer, The Classic Guide for Men recovering from Sexual Child Abuse, Harper Collins book, I think you revised it in 2004. Mike, and then in the other book that I haven't read yet, but I look forward to it Leaping Upon Mountains, Men Proclaiming Victory over Sexual Child Abuse is a 1999 book, from Small Wonder, and those

MIke Lew:

that's at the moment, that's only available as a

Phil Wharton:

As a as an Ebook now, okay, in that in that text is an Ebook. And we'll have all that in the liner notes of the show. And please go to the website for Mike and Tom in their, in their counseling group is www.nextstepcounseling.org. And we'll also have that as a link and to keep up on all the workshops coming up and and also the men's groups that are online, isn't that right Mike? Zoom groups are going on all over the world. And as the world opens back up, post pandemic, hopefully, you'll be able to go back and start training the people in the locales and different countries and all over the, our country on this powerful work.

MIke Lew:

It's starting slowly. We have a couple of workshops set up in Pennsylvania, we have one scheduled in the UK in July, and a professional training in the UK. So we're we're coming back slowly. But you know, things have been pretty crazy the last two, three years

Phil Wharton:

Really crazy. Yeah, it's a blessing, you're able to reach people online. And that's obviously not the same as being in the room with them and being able to, to be right there. So, Mike, it's just been such a wonderful blessing to have you on intrinsic drive. And thank you so much for your time and your service to the world and for men suffering from sexual child abuse and women all around the world. Mike, thank you.

MIke Lew:

Thank you.

Phil Wharton:

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