Letting Go of the Alpha/Beta Male Mythos - Justin Lioi, LCSW - Brooklyn, NY

(646) 872-6151

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Brooklyn, NY 11215

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A lot of guys come to me with labels and “alpha male” is used a lot. Either someone has labeled them or they came up with them on their own, but they tell me what they are and…that’s it. They feel it explains them and directs how they will always be.

  • Extroverts
  • Introverts
  • Myers-Briggs classification
  • Or just something they read about and has helped them feel “not the only one”

Nothing’s inherently wrong with any of these classification types, but it’s important to remember that they don’t explain fully what makes you you. There’s a lot more to the story and most of the types are not set in stone. A visual learner can still listen to podcasts.

Are Alpha Males for Real?

One classification type that often rubs me the wrong way is the Alpha/Beta male idea. On one hand, I hate the hierarchy of it and how much one corresponds so closely to patriarchal masculinity and I really dislike the binary-ness of them.

I write about the Alpha Beta Male issue in my weekly column “Unmasking Masculinity” at The Good Men Project and would love your thoughts.

And if you’d like to schedule a time to talk, don’t hesitate to contact me at any time. Does your perceived Alpha or Beta-ness mean that therapy isn’t something you’re willing to travel to do? Online counseling may be more your thing. So many of my clients respond to both the convenience and effectiveness of being able meet on their own terms. Let me know if you’d like to talk about this more.


Justin Lioi, LCSW is a men’s mental health and relationship expert based in Brooklyn, NY (and online throughout New York State and internationally.) He received his degree from New York University and has been working with men and their families for over 10 years. Justin is on the Board of the National Association of Social Workers and writes a weekly column for the Good Men Project called Unmasking Masculinity. He can be found on local and national podcasts talking about assertiveness, anger, self-compassion, all with the goal of becoming the man you want to be. He works with all men but has a particular focus on providing counseling for fathers (and guys hoping to become dads!)