The first step toward seeking therapy is through understanding why you are avoiding it. While research shows that men are less likely to seek help than women, it also shows that men often delay getting help until there is a crisis. Men also tend to be concerned about privacy and sometimes require greater reassurance that therapy will not adversely affect their image or position.
Additionally, the influence of stereotypes and stigmas might cause you to refrain from showing certain emotions such as vulnerability, fear, sensitivity, or dependence. Expressing such feelings might cause you to believe that you are weak or inadequate in handling your challenges. Such beliefs are based on stereotypes and have an adverse effect on your mental and physical well-being. However, your emotions and behaviors can stem from a disorder, and therefore you should never ignore them. It is essential to seek a proper diagnosis if your mental health or substance use interferes with your life. Let’s take a closer look into reasons that might be keeping you from getting treatment and how you can find engaging and effective treatments that benefit your needs as a man.
Building Communication Skills Through Counseling
If you tend to experience trouble with communication or other challenges in your relationships, you might find couples counseling to be helpful. During a couples counseling session, each person has the opportunity to express their feelings and emotions in a safe environment. Having a counselor as an impartial moderator helps the conversation stay on track. It also helps the conversation from ever turning confrontational. These sessions can help you discover the reasons behind some of your behaviors that affect your life and your relationships. It can also help you find methods for resolve, such as discussing goals that speak to the relationship with yourself and others.
Having a loved one present also helps strengthen your communication skills, which enable you to better convey your needs. Having someone who understands you in this way is also reassuring during times when you need help and support. Often, after counseling sessions with their loved ones, many men discover that their ideas and fears surrounding these sessions are not how they imagined. In most cases, differences in communication styles and general communication issues have created challenges within themselves and with their loved ones that can be resolved with the help of couples therapy.
Being in the Company of Other Men
Research has shown that men are more likely to succeed in therapy when assigned realistic and achievable tasks, such as homework assignments and setting specific behavioral goals. Therapy groups are also helpful in this regard, and you might find that joining a therapy group is an easier first step than seeking either individual or couples counseling.
In a men-only therapy group, men receive support and encouragement from other men who identify with them and are experiencing similar issues. Further, the emotional issues discussed will help normalize your feelings because you’ll likely realize that you are not alone in feeling the way you do. As a result, you will feel more comfortable opening up about yourself with others. You might also find that you are more willing to take advice from other men who share similar experiences. In turn, being in a setting and expressing yourself to those whose opinions you might have feared the most actually becomes the greatest benefit of therapy groups.
Greater Sense of Independence
Studies have found that one of the reasons why men might be less likely to seek help is because they simply don’t like asking for it. While their reluctance to seek help is multifaceted, some research suggests that it is because men might feel that they lose a sense of independence to move on their terms when they ask for help. It can be a devastating feeling for anyone who feels like they are not in control. Seeking individual therapy by utilizing the benefits of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) can help alleviate feelings of helplessness and even contribute to a man’s sense of independence of moving through therapy on his terms.
CBT helps you feel more emotionally and mentally in control of your life. It allows you to identify your thoughts and behaviors and even enables you to locate the reasons why you are experiencing these emotions and behaviors. The therapy also moves at your pace, so you never have to feel like you are not accomplishing goals fast enough or that you are moving too fast. By understanding and taking control of your thoughts, you attain a great sense of independence because you start to identify what is affecting you and therefore gain the confidence to handle the challenges.
Masculinity has no singular definition, and ideas about manhood are ever-evolving. Fortunately, the narrative of men and mental health is also changing. New approaches to treatments and therapies exist to speak directly to your needs. At the forefront of changing the narrative is Choice House. We are a place designed specifically to treat the needs of men to help them improve the quality of relationships they have with themselves and others. Our men-only approach to therapy ensures that you will have a safe space to develop your emotional range. We are located amid the foothills of the Rocky Mountains and utilize the landscape to help develop team-building and individual skills that you will need when you return to your everyday life. Our primary goal is to help men discover the benefits of seeking help and advocate for other men to do the same. To find out more, call us at (720) 577-4422.