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Ben Buttfield

Workshop Presenter

Be Buttfield | The Odyssey Program“My life mission statement is to facilitate social change around masculinity, by bringing people together, and modelling authenticity. As a result of my struggles with finding my place in the world of men, and the extreme and dangerous paths I chose to carve out my masculine identity, my life’s purpose now is to help boys and men find peace in their self-concepts as men.”

Ben was raised in a very loving and privileged family, and was blessed with a home environment full of safety, security and opportunity. Despite this wonderful start in life, he suffered a sense of loneliness and isolation that was compounded by the difficulty of finding men that he could have deep, authentic friendships with. The hyper masculine culture of male interaction was something that left Ben feeling empty.

In his mid teenage years, Ben found a love of combat sports, which led him into nightclub security. Subsequently he became heavily involved in the party scene, and many of the trappings that accompany it. In Ben’s quest to understand his own manhood, and coerced by his over powering desire to find belonging and acceptance in a community of men, he became caught up in gang culture. Due to the need for acceptance in this world, Ben chose to wear a mask of hyper masculinity that betrayed his true self. He chose to hide his caring, compassionate and sensitive nature with the pretence of toughness, intimidation and false strength.

After many years of this lifestyle, Ben finally managed to distance himself from this dangerous and empty world, but the feelings of disconnection persisted. He sought counselling, and a wonderful psychologist led him to a men’s social support group, which was a defining moment in his life. Ben was astounded to find large groups of men who formed strong communities who sought connection, authenticity, support, and to help each other refine and achieve their true life’s purpose.

Ben has been involved in men’s work for 7 years now. He coordinates and facilitates two groups, and is also involved in several rites of passage organisations, which involve men and teenage boys.

Furthermore, Ben has had a long career in the social sciences and allied health, and has worked as an occupational therapist and chiropractor for 15 years. He has also worked with young people at risk of homelessness, and has a background in exercise science.

Qualifications

  • Certificate IV in Youth Work
  • Master of Chiropractic
  • Bachelor of Applied Science (Occupational Therapy)
  • Graduate Diploma of Exercise Physiology
  • Bachelor of Arts
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