Guys Should Give Therapy a Try
It’s a stereotype that men don’t seek help… for issues like emotional support, personal concerns, and… driving directions.
Perhaps you fit into this stereotype? If so, you are in good company.
There is a lot of cultural pressure for men to conform to a specific way-of-being. Men get the message that they need to act tough and avoid showing emotions.
It requires a great deal of courage to open up and be vulnerable. It also takes a great deal of emotional maturity and wisdom to admit that some aspects of emotional life aren’t working. To be able to ask for help is actually a sign of personal strength.
If so, here are 5 reasons why men should at least entertain the idea of going to therapy:
1. Therapy's focus is on building your strengths and skills.
Therapy is NOT- I repeat- NOT about shaming you.
Here’s what it is about:
- Taking what is working in your life and expanding it
- Building skills- such as
- Communication skills
- Anger management skills
- Parenting skills
- Drawing on your strengths
- Identifying overlooked times when you successfully addressed emotional/relational challenges and work towards building on those things.
2. If you feel complex emotions but can't find words to express them, therapy can help you.
Imagine if you fractured your foot but did not have the words to explain your issue to the doctor. You’d feel pretty helpless and wouldn’t be able to get the guidance you needed.
It’s the same with emotions. If the only emotion you feel comfortable showing is shut down or pissed off, giving directions about what you want or need is gonna be pretty difficult!
Unfortunately for men, we live in a society that doesn’t encourage boys to develop an emotional vocabulary; quite the opposite.
We live in a society that encourages men to have an emotional vocabulary that doesn’t go much beyond one word: anger.
It stands to reason, then, that if you don’t have the vocabulary to express how you are feeling, it will be very difficult to articulate to yourself and others what’s bothering you.
If the thought of baring your soul is overwhelming, fear not my friend! That’s not what therapy has to be!
A therapist wants to help you achieve your goals.
Perhaps your goal is to:
- Gain the skills to be more patient with your child.
- Learn skills to have a difficult conversation with a partner.
- Deal with an addiction
It doesn’t have to entail baring your soul…
But it certainly can.
3. Therapy will help you to improve your relationship with others.
For some men, solving complex problems is a breeze… having connected and close relationships… not so much.
This makes sense.
Solving problems presents an opportunity to take action while also demonstrating competence and strength… something most men are trained to do.
Relationships require entirely different skills. Healthy relationships require connection, openness, vulnerability, and emotional flexibility.
That can be more difficult for many men.
If you want a better relationship with the important people in your life, going to therapy may help you gain awareness of what works and what doesn’t in your relationships. It can provide you with tools and insights to help you change what isn’t working.
- Increasing confidence
- Communicating more effectively
- Breaking free of addictive behaviors
- Sorting out feelings of anger and frustration.
4. You don’t have to suffer in silence.
What’s the message men often get from our culture?
Stuff your emotions
Stuff your emotions
And stuff your emotions some more.
I wish I could tell you stuffing your emotions is an effective and healthy way of dealing with the challenges of life…
But we all know that’s not true.
Avoiding conversations about problems or emotions will likely increase feelings of isolation and loneliness.
Here are some benefits of therapy:
- A therapist has no ties to your family, friends, your co-workers, or your boss.
- A therapist cares about what you have to say and seeks to understand.
- A therapist can help you find solutions to things that are bothering you… with solutions that are based on your values, your hopes, and your dreams.
I’m not going to lie, it can be difficult to open up at first. However, I promise, it gets easier and once you get over the initial hurdle, you’ll find it actually helps you feel better.
5. Crying in front of another person is scientifically proven to be good for you .
Wait a minute!
Didn’t I just say that you didn’t have to share your difficult emotions?!?!?
Yep, you are right, I did!
As I stated above, therapy ABSOLUTELY can be about gaining greater relational skills. And- it can also be about becoming more comfortable having emotions (beyond anger, that is!)
In case you are a big fan of logic and facts, I’d like to appeal to that side of you:
Studies have found that crying in front of others is good for you.
It’s true. Crying in front of another person has been shown to create a greater catharsis than simply crying alone.
And there you have it- 5 reasons why giving therapy a try is a good idea. Are you ready to therapy a go?
I'm here to help!
I enjoy helping men get the most out of their lives by addressing feelings of anxiety, depression, worry, and addictive behaviors. In fact, I find it an honor. I get to normalize feelings and experiences to help men to create concrete steps that help them in their lives and relationships.
An important note:
Some guys prefer seeing a female therapist.
Other guys prefer seeing a male therapist.
If you are one of those guys who prefer to see a male therapist, No problem, I get it!
I prefer you find a therapist that is right for you.
If this is the case, please don’t hesitate to contact me and I provide you with a referral that meets your unique needs.
Are you ready to give therapy a go?