The Understanding Boys Podcast

Series 3

Conversations about what makes a good man and more

Matt Englar-Carlson

UB Podcast

S3: E9 Matt Englar-Carlson

Dr Matt Englar-Carlson, PhD, is a professor of counselling and the Director of the Center for Boys and Men at California State University, Fullerton. A fellow of the American Psychological Association, Dr Englar-Carlson’s work focusses on educating and training professionals about male mental health needs as well as how to work more effectively with boys and men.

Dr Englar-Carlson’s scholarly interests are focused on how masculinity influences well-being, interpersonal relationships and self-identity. In particular, his research in this area looks at how men ask and receive assistance in relation to mental health field.

In 2007, Dr Englar-Carlson was named the Researcher of the Year by the Society for the Psychological Study of Men and Masculinity. He has over 35 publications and 60 national and international presentations, most of which are focused on men and masculinity.

Dr Englar-Carlson is a co-developer of the of Positive Psychology Positive Masculinities model, which adopts a prosocial and strength-based approach of understanding men. In addition to this, he has authored several books, including: In the Room with Men: A Casebook of Therapeutic Change, Counseling Troubled Boys: A Guidebook for Professionals, A Counselor’s Guide to Working with Men, and is co-editor of the 24 volume book series, Theories of Psychotherapy that features the world’s leading authorities on various theoretical approached to psychotherapy.

In his role as a clinician, Dr Englar-Carlson has taught and worked with hundreds of children, families, schools/universities and community groups across the United States. He is also a teacher at Esalen Institute in Big Sur, where he leads annual experiential workshops for men focussed on wellness and growth.

Join us for the next episode of the podcast, where Dr Swann talks to Matt, about what led him to his work, how he understands men and masculinity, about the profound impact his dad had on him and how in turn he is truing to be a great dad for his kids, as well as what it means to be a good man these days.

We hope you enjoy this week’s episode.


Brought to you by Brighton Grammar School

01:00 – Guest Intro
02:30 – His journey to psychology and the impact of his father
13:11 – His relationship with his parents
17:57 – His involvement in sports, Drugs in sports
23:48 – Gender representation among doping in sports
24:44 – Masculinity and his own identity
29:57 – Communication and healthy masculinity
41:24 – Narrative therapy
44:07 – The pressure and expectations on young boys
48:35 – Matt the parent
57:05 – What story he would tell a young boy
01:00:09 – What makes a good man 



Season 3

9 episodes
Episode 9

Matt Englar-Carlson

Matt talks about the profound impact his dad had on him and how in turn he is trying to be a great dad for his kids.

Episode 8

Daniel Petre

Daniel Petre author of ‘Father Time’, an Australian classic, talks about being a dad being mindful as parents and about achieving balance in a working life.

Episode 7

Monty Badami

Dr Monty Badami looks through an anthropological lens to explore how we can help boys find their place in the world and offers some useful tips that you can use at home.

Episode 6

Robert Blum

Dr Robert Blum talks about the impact of gender on boys (and girls) while telling some incredible stories from his lifelong experience working with adolescents.

Episode 5

Megan De Beyer 2

Megan talks about ‘how to raise a man’, the role of nature in a post-pandemic world, and some tips about managing your son’s anger.

Episode 4

Arne Rubinstein

Dr Arne shares some stories about the powerful effect of Rites of Passage and some of elements of which you can use at home from his experience.

Episode 3

Jacqui True

Dr Jacqui True talks about about parenting, what she learnt during Covid lockdown and also a bit about how we can connect our boys into understanding better ways of being for the benefit of all.

Episode 2

Stephen Day

General Day talks about leading with emotion, integrity and reason, how to find moral courage, and the importance of humility.

Episode 1

Will Pucovski

Will chats to us about his professional life, his work as a cricketer and what it has taught him while also sharing four key questions that he wished he knew as a young man.


Season 2

7 episodes
Episode 7


In the final episode for series 2, our podcast is turned on its head in an interesting twist with Micah Swann.

Episode 6


Angie shares her thoughts on people and rules. How schools have handled COVID, what it’s been like and what she’s learnt.

Episode 5


Angus talks about what makes him happy, about being the eldest child, online boundaries and parental controls as well as male stereotypes and the future.

Episode 4


Kaya reflects on a time of lockdown in Melbourne, and about what’s important. She’s got a great story to tell too.

Episode 3


Taj speaks about the future, what he’s learnt in high school, while he has fantastic story too about being seen.

Episode 2


We hear from Juliet on sailing, being at sea, society and schools as well as life in lockdown in Melbourne, Australia.

Episode 1


Aubrey who tells us what he’s been doing, about fixing his motorbike and what he enjoys about camping and the future.


Season 1

20 episodes
Episode 20

Ross Featherston

The eighth headmaster of BGS, Ross shares his wisdom and understanding on how to raise boys, he gives us some takeaways and his thoughts about what it’s like to be a parent.

Episode 19

Raelene Plozza

An Instructional coach and Head of Literacy, Raelene focuses on motivating adolescent boys to read and how parents can help with this most crucial aspect of learning.

Episode 18

Andrew Lauterstein

Andrew is an Olympic medallist and World Championship medalist swimmer. Now a business owner he is a mentor and advocate of life balance and planning for life after sport.

Episode 17

Damien Bolton

Professor Damien talks about parenting, medicine, and shares some insights into the importance of teaching boys to ask for help.

Episode 16

Nathan Lovett Murray

Nathan Lovett-Murray is a former AFL footballer and is now an Indigenous Mentor, a producer, and an educator, raising awareness of racism and its impact on wellbeing.

Episode 15

Dawn O’Neil AM

Dawn O’Neill AM is a lifelong advocate and thought leader on mental health having led major reforms in social and mental health sectors.

Episode 14

David Leser

David Leser is a journalist, feature writer and public interviewer and author of ‘Women, Men and the Whole Damn Thing’, an investigation following the #MeToo movement.

Episode 13

Judy Chu

Dr Judy Chu is a lecturer in Human Biology at Stanford University with a fantastic insight into into masculinity issues that are relevant to all men and boys.

Episode 12

Trevor Hendy AM

Former Ironman Australia Trevor Hendy AM shares his journey from professional lifesaver to motivational speaker and life coach, and the lessons that he has learnt.

Episode 11

Dianne Vella-Brodrick

Head of Research at the Centre for Positive Psychology, Dianne has a special focus on young people while working with organisations to assess and promote wellbeing.

Episode 10

Jim Lawrie

This podcast will be a little different to our usual format we’ll explore Jim’s artistry as a young man, talk about growing up and his thoughts on masculinity.

Episode 9

Michael Reichert

Michael explains that paradigms about boys needing to be stoic and ‘man like’ is actually destructive and changing the culture lies with parents, educators and mentors.

51 minutes
Episode 8

Megan De Beyer

International parenting expert Megan gives her tips on how to navigate the challenging teenage years and foster connected, meaningful relationships between parents and sons.

48 minutes
Episode 1

Tim Costello

Reverend Tim Costello speaks with Dr Ray Swann about faith and the importance of modelling empathy in the shaping of good men.

33 minutes
Episode 2

Lisa McCune

Lisa McCune, one of Australia’s most successful screen and theatre actors, shares her experiences on mentorship, motherhood and modern manhood.

40 minutes
Episode 3

James Kerr

The author of Legacy, discusses how he uses the power of storytelling to reach out to young men and encourage them to have a good understanding of self and authenticity.

31 minutes
Episode 4

Steve Biddulph AM

Steve Biddulph AM is an author, activist and psychologist who has written influential bestselling books; and lectures worldwide on parenting, and boys’ education.

28 minutes
Episode 5

Simon Rice

Leading mental health researcher, Dr Simon Rice outlines a collaborative research project with BGS around positive masculinity to improve outcomes for boys’ mental health.

34 minutes
Episode 6

Liz Dawes

Liz Dawes speaks earnestly on helping children deal with loss. She shares her son’s own battle with brain cancer and her continued determination to raise awareness and funds.

29 minutes
Episode 7

Jeff Kennett AC

Jeff Kennett AC, founding Chairman of beyondblue, speaks on what it takes to be a good man today and shares his aspirations to reduce the impact of depression and anxiety.

21 minutes