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 a lot of 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 reasons why every man should see a therapist:
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 so men look to media and advertising to find clues about who they should be, and this can be incredibly damaging.
Therapy can be 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.” But are they, really?
It used to be said that In their day-to-day interactions, men tend to live on a logical plane of existence whereas women live on an emotional one. This is an unfair overgeneraliazation but it is also one that much of our culture has adopted. So, while we know that it isn’t this simple and often times is completely backward, it is sometimes hard to escape from the boxes we are “supposed to” exist in. Relationships often are negatively impacted by this programming.
Therapy can help men who recognize that everyone experiences strong emotions to safely explore their own feelings in a safe and supportive therapy environment. In this way, therapy serves as a “Petri dish” for us to experience what healthy emotional exploration and expression can look like, and what it looks like to be supported and validated by another person. These experiences can allow for men who struggle with emotions to feel more confident in sharing them with their spouses and partners.
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 each week to get into the best mental and emotional shape of your life and be a total package?
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.
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. Therapy allows men 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.