Although I work with a variety of clients in my practice, I most enjoy working with other men- whether they have been in therapy before or not.
In fact, I love working with people (men or women) who made the choice to reach out to a therapist for the first time. Most are glad they did and say they wish they had done it sooner!
I feel this strongly because I understand how hard it is to do. Most of us grow up to value independence and with ideas we’ve been taught about asking for help, what is strong, what is weak, etc. Men certainly get these messages loud and clear, but this “wisdom” handed down from earlier generations couldn’t be farther from the truth!
Independence is great, and being self-reliant is a good thing as well. But taken to an extreme, many people suffer unnecessarily because they won’t ask for help under any circumstances. So is that strong? Or is that person more scared of what others may think? On the contrary, I believe we all have a limit to what we know or what we can handle, and a time comes for all of us when the “strong” move is to admit we need some help and then ask for it. Man or woman, young or old, and so on- it doesn’t matter. But societally speaking, we men seem to be the most impacted by some of this older thinking, and I really enjoy helping people to change that!
Although most male therapists specialize in “men’s issues”, this is a broad category. Some things are unique to the male experience, while others are just things men typically bring to therapy. Some of the things I help men with are:
- Self-confidence, self-image, and self-esteem
- Identifying and better managing emotions
- Talking about feelings
- Reducing anger/anger management
- Expressing emotions positively
- Romantic relationships
- Increasing equality
- Communicating more effectively
- Increasing/improving intimacy
- Developing insight into behaviors which help or do not help relationships
- Increasing accountability, acknowledging and changing behaviors as needed
- Dating issues
- Connecting better with children or other family members
- Loneliness, isolation, lack of friendships, limited social support
- Work/life balance concerns
- Increasing healthy behaviors (i.e. working out, eating healthfully, sleeping better)
- Increasing positive coping skills, reducing negative coping behaviors
- Addiction or substance use concerns
- Clarifying values, increasing values-consistent behavior
- Learning to ask for help or to be vulnerable
- And more…
Again, most of these are not only men’s issues. But given the messages we men tend to receive in our culture, many men struggle in at least some of these areas and need to unlearn some of what they have been taught, developing themselves and replacing old behaviors with new ones. And this is where a professional like a psychologist can come in.
I recognize that it can be awkward to reach out to a professional, especially for the first time, but therapists are legally and ethically bound by confidentiality, and you have control over who you tell or don’t tell you are seeing one, and if so, for what. You can feel confident that what you share will be kept private, and whether you choose to tell anyone you see a therapist is up to you. I always start therapy with a detailed discussion of this and provide opportunity for questions.
If you think therapy could help, reach out and discuss it with someone. Share what’s on your mind, clarify the issues, and work together to address your concerns and to live a better life than you have been. Why wouldn’t you?
Have questions? Want to know more? Want to discuss an appointment? Contact me or call 610-482-4496.