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Therapy for Men

Therapy for Men

Men’s mental health is important!  Just like everyone, men experience the full spectrum of life’s stressors, traumas, and major life adjustments, but for some reason our cultural norms expect men to handle these stressors individually and independently.  This cultural expectation is having a great impact on men’s mental health.  Recent statistics show that over 6 million men suffer from depression each year; however, they go undiagnosed and unsupported because men typically report fatigue, irritability, and loss of interest instead of sadness and worthlessness.  Additionally, anxiety, bipolar, and eating disorders are all problems that men experience, but are less likely to seek help than women.  This is often due to the societal norms that fuel a reluctance to talk and a downplaying of the symptoms experienced.  We have lived in a society in the past that has said boys don’t cry, men should not express emotion, and that vulnerability of expressing emotion could bring negative consequences socially.  Men who have lived in a system teaching this, may think of themselves as less masculine or less worthy which drives poorer mental health outcomes.  Suicide by men has been on the rise since 2000 and is the 7th leading cause of death to men currently.  

For this reason, we know that men need therapy too, and they benefit from the support of a therapeutic relationship.  Men come to therapy for a variety of reasons.  While this list is not exhaustive, some reasons include:

  • Anger
  • Stress, which may present with somatic/body pain, complaints, or feelings of irritation or frustration
  • Work adjustment issues such as procrastination, avoidance, anger, or success sabotage 
  • Substance dependence or addiction
  • Other dependency or addiction, such as internet, gaming, gambling, or sex
  • Body image issues and/or disordered eating
  • Bipolar Depression
  • Depression, which might be experienced as boredom, lack of motivation, or feeling that one is blank or “stuck”
  • Relationship issues

Men often come to therapy at the request of another important person in their life and therapy can be done individually, as a couple, or within the whole family system.  It is important to note that a trained, licensed therapist keeps your privacy and confidentiality with the utmost importance, and they engage with you in a goal-oriented manner that puts improving your quality of life as the focus of the therapy process.  Evidenced based therapies such as Motivational Interviewing, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and Solution Oriented Brief Therapy are modalities that have been researched and improve the quality of life of individuals and a reduction of reported mental health symptoms.  

Here are some links to further information and support for men’s mental health, and click the link here to schedule an appointment with one of our specialist’s in men’s mental health.

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RESOURCES FOR MEN:

HeadsUpGuys – This resource exists to help men with depression. It educates men about depression, shares tips for dealing with depression, provides ideas for reaching out for support, and allows men to build their own personal action plan for managing depression.

Men’s Health Resource Center – men can explore their mental health and learn more about issues such as anxiety, depression, posttraumatic stress (PTSD), and stress. The site also lists external resources for men dealing with specific mental health issues.

NAMI – This is a great resource for all mental health needs. This particular article focuses on myths that prevent men from entering therapy. Great article that may normalize your experience. Further research into the site provides a wealth of information on mental health and therapy, as well as their 24 hour help line: 800-950-NAMI  

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