While women are often the ones who seek therapy, typically making up nearly two-thirds of therapy patients, multiple studies have shown that men benefit more from the process. But men rarely seek therapy because they just don’t like the idea of opening up to a stranger and sharing their feelings.
Therapy, then, isn’t a very naturally masculine process. But I want to encourage men to push past their discomfort and seek therapy anyway because it can really help in so many areas of their life.
Here are some of the ways counseling for men can help:
Men Often Struggle with Their Identity
Many men today struggle with what it means to be a man. Decades ago, the definition was more clearly defined, but nowadays a man can get completely lost. Should they be masculine or is masculinity somehow toxic? Should they show their emotions or not? Should they protect women or is that somehow belittling women?
It is entirely confusing for men, and many have had to grow up without a father figure in the home, or fathers who were there but emotionally absent. And often men are influenced by media and advertising and learn about who they should be, and this can be incredibly damaging.
Men’s counseling can offer a space where men can learn to define themselves on their own terms.
Gain Understanding and Tools for Your Relationships
Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus? That’s putting it mildly!
In their day-to-day interactions, men tend to live on a logical plane of existence whereas women live on an emotional one. No one plane of existence is right and no one is wrong, it is simply how the two sexes are wired.
But, since men tend to struggle to express their feelings and express themselves in a way that females can relate to, the relationship can take a hit and the two can grow apart.
Men’s counseling can help guys safely explore their own feelings and learn how to relate to women in a language women understand.
Become the Best Version of You
Seeing a therapist doesn’t necessarily mean something is wrong with you. Often therapy can be a way to explore who you are, what you want, and how to reach your goals. In other words, therapy can be a means by which you become the best version of yourself. If you hit the gym x times per week to get into the best physical shape of your life, why not hit the therapist’s office routinely and become emotionally healthy as well?
Get Help for Substance Abuse
Studies have shown that men are far more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol as a way to cope with the stress and depression in their life. Therapy can show you how to cope without the need for these substances. Counseling for men can address substance abuse for what it is – a negative coping mechanism and a faulty solution to emotional problems.
Lower Your Suicide Risk
There has been a disturbing rise in instances of suicide among older American men. This is most likely a result of men not believing they have the right to seek help. When you’ve got to be the strong one all the time and fix other people’s problems, seeking outside help simply is not an option.
But it IS an option. Men need to get help with their issues so they don’t turn to suicide.
Help with Fatherhood
As I mentioned earlier, many men grew up without proper role models. They then find themselves a father, unable to cope with the challenges and responsibilities. Men’s counseling allows guys to discover who they want to be for their children and come up with a game plan to develop this side of themselves.
If you are a man struggling with these issues or any others and would like to explore treatment options, please be in touch. I would be more than happy to discuss how I may be able to help.