Why should a man seek out therapy?
Because you can’t fix Emotions with duct tape.
What is “Man Therapy”?
Believe it or not, men have emotions too. They just don’t express or process those emotions the way women do. Man therapy is geared towards the natural way men express and process their problems.
Traditional therapy is often tailored to how women express and process emotions, some men do well in this type of counseling however, this does not work well for most men. For instance, men and women express depression differently. Unlike women, most men don’t exhibit the sad, self loathing behavior associated with depression. Men often express depression as feeling angry and irritated or a loss of control. The early stages of depression in men are often missed because the symptoms are usually different.
Men are taught to be self-reliant and to provide for and protect their family. The inner rationale is that it is appropriate to hide their emotions is order to protect their loved ones. Another factor is the roles we see our parents playing.
Many men have experienced fathers who were emotionally distant, who rarely, if ever, cried or expressed affection outwardly. The way we see our parents behave may become the unconscious template for our behavior. Popular culture also plays a role by characterizing the hero as fearless, resourceful, stoic and usually facing adversity alone.
Emotions. (those touchy feely things)
The four basic emotions are Happiness, Sadness, Anger, and Fear. These emotions serve a valuable purpose and are a normal response to threat and loss that everyone feels. However, sadness, anger, and fear are often seen as unacceptable in our culture. Men will often try to hide these emotions from themselves and those around them. They do so by:
Withdrawing from family and friends
Working longer hours
Spending more time away from home
Consuming more alcohol
Behaving recklessly and/or violently
Excessive video games
We might not always be able to identify what we’re feeling or have the words to describe our emotions. Men may feel uncomfortable talking to someone about them, leading to frustration in relationships when they cannot express their needs, fears and grief.
Most common issues for men
These issues can be brought on by divorce, loss of job, life changes, trauma, addictions
These issues can also be treated successfully. Counseling therapy, lifestyle changes, and sometimes medication
Talk about it
The man therapy approach is more like a coaching session. We identify what the issues are, explore possible solutions, and create a plan to apply those solutions. It is a safe place to express your emotions and get clarity on the issues and the solutions.
Not talking or expressing your emotions can lead to
Addictions (alcohol, drugs, spending, gambling, sex, dangerous activities)
A greater sense of isolation & more pain
Less support being available from family & friends
Anger, irritability, additional stress, inability to control behavior
Health issues, due to carrying chronic tension in the body and other bad coping strategies
Psychological problems such as depression, insomnia and anxiety.
Relationship difficulties due to an inability to resolve emotional conflicts and/or a perceived lack of ability to be intimate.