Why Counseling for Men is Important
If you are a man reading this, I know looking for help wasn’t easy for you. Counseling might be something you’ve never considered because you thought, “that’s not what men do.” Counseling for men is very effective because your specific needs as a man are taken into account from start to finish.
Listen, I know you are used to doing things on your own and getting things done. But, now you’re stuck. You may be struggling with a high pressure job, with ton of work stress. Or, you may also be drained because you are going through relationship challenges, sexual dysfunction, separation, or divorce. Lastly, you may be dealing anger that’s affecting your marriage and parenting. If this describes what you are going through, then you can rest assured that counseling for men like you not only focuses on your issues but also how you think about them.
How Counseling for Men Can Help
In therapy I provide an atmosphere where you can come in and comfortably lay out your problems. Then we work together to figure them out. Talking with someone who is unbiased and non-judgmental creates a feeling of acceptance. Acceptance reassures us that everything is going to be okay no matter how difficult the challenge.
Men are used to having walls and compartments to help manage difficult events. Often, those walls and compartments end up doing more harm than good. Counseling for men can help break down these walls and give clarity. No need to feel like you’re weak – because you are going to get through this! I’ve worked with men and all the issues that apply to us for over a decade. I offer counseling for men who primarily struggle with these particular issues:
Are you overworked and lacking energy? Is your stress creating problems in your marriage and family? Are you lacking career fulfillment and want a change of direction? If the answer is “yes” to any of these questions, then you are probably experiencing work stress.
Many men find meaning in their work. Family, health, and relationships can often take a backseat in the attempt to make more money, become a better provider, and “climb the ladder.” Fortunately, many guys are realizing the importance of having a work/life balance but feel stuck or trapped in the pattern of thinking that their worth is found in their position or salary. Men can be very skilled at not letting on to internal struggles – but problems develop and can grow out of control quickly. Counseling for men who undergo a high level of work stress typically deal with these symptoms:
- Weight gain
- Gastrointestinal problems
- Heart palpitations
- Muscular tension
- Poor concentration
- Drop in work performance or stamina
- Decreased creativity
An area of great sensitivity with men is that of having sexual problems. Lack of sex drive/libido, erectile dysfunction, and performance anxiety are more common than men will admit. Sexual dysfunction can cause severe depression and anxiety in men and can often be damaging to relationships. Partners often report feeling rejected or unattractive and blame themselves. This stress further compounds when couples continue to try but with increased anxiety. This leaves both people feeling like there is something wrong with them.
When couples have sexual problems in their relationship, counseling for men and women individually is equally as important as couples counseling together. Sexual dysfunction can be the result of either a medical condition or a psychological issue. Seeing a doctor can rule out certain issues related to poor sexual performance. Medical issues that contribute to male sexual problems include:
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- Excessive alcohol use
- Prescription medications
- Low testosterone
Many times, however, there are psychological reasons associated with sexual dysfunction that can get worked out in therapy. The most common psychological issues are:
- Anxiety or panic disorders
- Relationship problems
- Spiritual issues/guilt
- Excessive pornography
Men face the same relationship issues that women do, but many times in different ways. Dating issues, marriage problems, and divorce recovery are never easy. Yet, the main difference in how men and women process these issues is related support systems. Women are typically stronger in verbal capacity, which makes them (generally) better at communicating feelings. Additionally, women are typically more comfortable with feelings and sociologically have an easier time talking to others about them.
Men, however, do not. Men tend to compartmentalize feelings. They deny (or don’t discuss) insecurities with other men, because they have difficulty verbalizing their feelings. Counseling for men is just as important as couples counseling, because many times men need to work on their own personal, underlying issues through Individual Counseling first. Some of these issues include:
- Lack of commitment
- Insecurities (physical, financial, intellectual, etc.)
- Fear of abandonment
- Poor communication
Divorce can be an emotionally devastating event. The marriage has ended, you’ve had to fight for your child(ren), and you’ve lost half (or more) of your income. The aftermath can seem impossible since your life looks completely different now. These changes seem enormous and life is much different than you ever thought it would be.
Now, you are having to start over in just about every aspect of your life. You may have even lost friends or family because of the divorce and now you feel unsupported or isolated. You may feel like you are an underdog in the legal process and that scale is not tiled equally. This is one of the primary reasons counseling for men is so necessary! To help support you when you feel like there isn’t any for you. These are some of the main ways divorce affects men:
- Loss of self worth
- Substance abuse
- Lack of trust in women
- Loss of status
- Feelings of failure
- Guilt and regret
Increasingly, men are far more active parents now than in the past – and that’s a good thing! Historically, fathers have been more focused on making money and providing for their families. But “providing” comes at a cost when dads are overworked, travel frequently, and become unable to disconnect while away from the office. While providing money for needs and wants, fathers run the risk of not providing quality time, communication, and their presence to their kids. Most men are interested and invested in being good dads but there are some real challenges that confront them:
- Being an effective parent while managing anger
- Co-parenting through divorce
- Communicating with teenagers
- Jobs that require travel
- An alcoholic or drug-addicted spouse
- Fathers who had abusive or absent fathers
Is anger affecting your work or your relationship with your spouse and child(ren)? Does Atlanta traffic contribute to road rage? Has it anger created legal issues or cost you relationships? Has it been your “go to” emotion since you were young? There are many reasons for anger but its important to note that anger is a “surface emotion” that is a cover for many other underlying feelings.
In fact, anger is the #1 symptom of depression for men. Many people erroneously believe depression is the same as sadness and crying – but it isn’t. Therapy can help you identify underlying emotions, because therapy forces you to look at how you have used anger to substitute healthy expressions of other feelings.
If you’ve ever wondered what your underlying feelings are behind anger, then ask yourself if any of these match what you feel:
- Lack of fulfillment
Contact me today for a free consultation so you can fix what is broken!