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Serving the Community Since 1928

Palisadian-Post Serving the Community Since 1928

Page 4

Thursday, February 26, 2015 Pacific Palisades, California


‘Men’s Wisdom’ and The Path to Psychotherapy


L ast month, Palisadian Kane Phelps invited fel-

low men 50-plus to join a “wisdom circle” designed for men who are going through life’s transitions, such as ag- ing, loss, divorce, retirement and the death of family or friends. “The idea of the men’s group for aging men is about creating community and a place where we can feel really connected with each other and share in a deep way. The idea of the circle is like the ancient wisdom practice of counsel where we sit in a circle and pass a talking stick. It encour- ages connection and deep lis- tening,” Phelps said. A licensed marriage and

family therapist, Phelps is passionate about men’s work, but he admits the path to his current career was anything but straight and narrow. “I was going to be a star center-fielder for the New York Yankees. There was only one slight problem: I was short, awkward and slow – a dynamic combination,” Phelps said, remembering his upbringing on the family farm in Rhode Island. “After my mom died when I was 21, I decided I was going to make films. I had a friend in college whose brother was a filmmaker in the Philippines. I wanted to drive a motorcycle from London to Calcutta and take a plane to Manila where his company was. I got hired and off I went,” Phelps said. At the age of 21, the solo

and off I went,” Phelps said. At the age of 21, the solo Kane Phelps in

Kane Phelps in his admittedly ‘hippie days.’

Photo courtesy of Kane Phelps

motorcycle trip took him four months and across 14,000 miles. It was in the Philippines where Phelps worked along- side Jack Nicholson and John Hackett on films like Flight to Fury (1964), Back Door to Hell (1964) and Ride in the Whirlwind (1966). “Acting never felt right for me. For Jack, there was no doubt it was right. He just had that spark,” Phelps said. Feeling unfulfilled in the burgeoning film industry after moving to Los Angeles a year later, Phelps built his dream home in Big Sur where he be- gan to practice meditation. What put his career as a therapist into motion, howev- er, was a single moment while he was working as a gardener. “I was working on a house that had flooded and I had to go in the crawlspace to dig trenches. I remember coming out at night, covered in mud, and my wife came to pick me up in our VW van. She had the headlights on me and I had this vision of my parents looking at me. That was the moment when things changed,” Phelps recalled. At the age of 44, Phelps obtained his M.A. in psychol- ogy from Antioch University and became a licensed Mar- riage and Family Therapist. He moved to Pacific Pali- sades in 1980 and began work-

He moved to Pacific Pali - sades in 1980 and began work- Kane Phelps, a licensed

Kane Phelps, a licensed mar- riage and family therapist, is passionate about ‘men’s work.’

Rich Schmitt/Staff Photographer

ing for Children’s Services – a career he maintained for 27 years to support his wife and three children. Phelps, who has been op- erating as a psychotherapist in the Palisades for the past two years, said, “Compassion is the cornerstone of my work. You cannot be fully compas- sionate with others if you are not first compassionate with yourself.” For more information, visit