• SumoMe

A retreat attendee walks back from group therapy. Photo: AP.

The Insight Intensive retreat has simple aims for young post-college men:

Get up. Clean your room. Hold meaningful conversations. Resolve your differences.

Eventually, it moves on to setting some goals: Staying in school, getting a job, or both. Moving out of their parents’ homes when they leave this place is a hope for many.

They are the most basic of goals, a rite of passage for any young adult. But experts say more young people today — especially young men like the ones who come here — lack the will, or perhaps even the know-how, to achieve them . . .

. . . Federal statistics show that young men are, for instance, nearly twice as likely to live at home with their parents than young women their age. They’re also less likely to finish college, or to have a job. The struggling economy has only made things worse.

“We see more failure to launch because there’s less to launch into,” says Joshua Coleman, a psychologist who is the co-chairman of the Council on Contemporary Families, a nonprofit organization that tracks trends in American families . . .

. . . “They are depressed, anxious, overwhelmed and underprepared,” says Joseph DeNucci, one of the founders of this program, called Insight Intensive at Gold Lake. [Yahoo! News]

This article immediately intrigued me, as I’m interested in the modern state of young American males. I looked further into this retreat and when visiting their website, I was impressed and encouraged by their method of transforming males:

Our program focuses on self-defined goals and measurable objectives that lead to implementing and executing an individualized Life Plan.  Such an approach and the individualized Life Plan that comes out of our program enables each young adult to transition into a responsible and meaningful life.

What is this “life plan” you ask? I wondered that myself:

“If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll probably end up somewhere else.”
At Insight Intensive we know that a young man can’t effectively launch unless he knows where he’s planning to land. So before a participant even arrives on campus, we begin the process of identifying a clear sense of what, specifically, we are preparing him for in terms of school, work, and independence. To be successful, we must construct a clear Life Plan that is:

  • Ambitious but—with the right preparation—realistic
  • Personalized around the participant’s strengths and interests
  • Motivating to the participant
  • Supported by family—both emotionally and concretely

A well-constructed Life Plan informs everything else that happens at Insight Intensive. It’s what allows us to implement a highly personalized and effective program of therapy, health and wellness, academics, vocational training, life skills training, and socialization for each participant.

What I like the most is that each attendee is able to choose his own path in life, and Insight Intensive helps get the young men where they want to be, rather than indoctrinating the attendees with what they should do. This forces the men to think about their own lives (something many men dread or avoid doing) and determine how to spend their life.

It’s easy to play video games and eat chips all day, but nothing great is ever achieved through ease. All men (and women) should aspire for true greatness in some form, and it’s unlikely to come from having a super-powered avatar.

If you are a man stuck in a rut in your life, I encourage you to consider attending Insight Intensive. If you lack the funds, they offer financing. If you really lack the funds, I suggest you read their website as it gives some helpful diagrams and advice to those willing to accept it.