Your Hero’s Journey

Using the theme of a Hero’s Journey, let’s look at your life and see how it has gone thus far and how it might go in the future. You may note as we go along that this storyline expresses an optimistic viewpoint. The glass is always half-full. On one hand, it describes life as it is, how it goes regardless of how we might want it to go. At the same time, while we’re dealing with reality here, we’re doing so in a very hopeful, positive manner. We’re living in harmony with life as it is.

Below you’ll see how the Hero’s Journey storyline goes, with each of its milestones noted within the context of a cycle. Soon after one Journey concludes, another one eventually comes into your life with a new “Call to Adventure.” Yet this new Journey will play out at a higher level, so to speak. And so your life goes, ever upward.

Ordinary World. You start out your Journey in the normal world, with all the usual stress, anxiety, and sadness, plus excitement, happiness, and joy that most people experience. For the most part, you handle this just fine.

Call to Adventure. Something shakes up your life, either from the outside or the inside. You must face the possibility of a need for change. Let’s say you come home one night and your spouse or partner tells you they want out. Or, your boss tells you you’re fired. Or, you receive a life-threatening diagnosis from your doctor. Or, you wake up in the middle of the night feeling empty, fearful, and hopeless. Or, … well, I could go on and on. There are many more examples of Calls to Adventure. But you get the idea. Take a moment now to think about what has shaken you up recently. What do you think your Call to Adventure might be?

The cave you fear to enter

holds the treasure you seek.

Joseph Campbell

Refusing the Call. You recognize the Call but decide to tough it out by “stuffing it down” (I have done this many times). Or, you seek out medication from your doctor so you can’t feel the Call any more (I have done this, too). Or, you don’t really know what to do about the Call, so you suffer in silence (“I’m fine”). Or, your mind or body won’t let you recognize the Call at all (“No problem”). In your case, you have started to answer the Call by coming to this website and reading these very words! If you happen to be a man who wonders about answering or Refusing the Call, I have a special message for you here.

I am not discouraged, because

every wrong attempt discarded is

another step forward.

Thomas Edison

Meeting the Mentor. You contact someone like me, a mentor or expert guide, who helps you understand the Journey and that you are capable of making it successfully.

When the student is ready

the teacher appears.


Crossing the Threshold. Once you have a better idea of what to expect along the way, you commit to proceed on your Journey and work on your issues, with me as your companion along the way.

Photo by Gilbert Tremblay

The journey of a thousand steps
begins with one step.

Allies and Enemies. You figure out fairly quickly (because they’ll let you know) who wants you to get better and who doesn’t, each for their own reasons. With my help, you decide what to do about that.

Approach. We work together to develop an approach that works for you in every possible way. I call this a “Psychotherapy of One’s Own.” This way, after a while and when you feel ready, you can use this approach on your own.

Teachers open the door but

you must enter by yourself.

Chinese Proverb

The Ordeal. As the name implies, this can be the hard part. You come to terms with whatever bothers you and, with my help, figure out what to do about it.

What all myths have to deal with

is transformations of consciousness.

You have been thinking one way;

you now have to think a different way.

Joseph Campbell

The Reward. You begin to see and feel improvement in your situation, making changes where necessary and feeling better about yourself. Life begins to feel different to you, lighter and more joyful. There are many examples of Rewards.

Photo by Matt Benson on Unsplash

The Road Back. You decide, with my help if you want it, when you feel ready to slow down the process. We get you prepared for your new life outside the therapy process.

Resurrection. You decide that it is, in fact, time to stop our process and you go on by yourself.

When the student is truly ready

the teacher will disappear.


Returning with the Treasure. You feel strong enough to help others because you’ve been through the Journey and know it can be done.

Believe that there is a light

at the end of the tunnel.

Believe that you might be that

light for someone else.

Kobi Yamada

Next, learn more about what to expect along the way once you Cross the Threshold into your Hero’s Journey.

Should you feel like getting started right now, please contact me.

Dr. Dan is no longer taking new clients, but remains available to current and former clients.

To find a therapist with openings in their schedule, you may wish to search the Psychology Today Therapist Directory. It enables you to search for people who take your insurance, have relevant specialties, and more.