Therapy For Men
There has been an increase in men reaching out for therapy. This is great news. Our expectations of men are changing and men are feeling more and more comfortable talking about their emotional experiences. There is a greater recognition of the importance of managing their stress through talking therapies. Therapy for men aims to develop an individuals understanding of their own emotional experiences, thoughts and behaviours. In addition to this, therapists working with men will need to recognise that men can have their own unique experiences and challenges that may be related to the societal expectations of men, the gender roles and their own cultural challenges. Understanding these are critical to supporting successfully and in providing the most effective therapeutic environment.
In particular when working with men, we may need to address the masculinity norms. Many cultures and societies continue to have expectations on how men should behave. In particular, the expression of certain emotions such as sadness and worries should be suppressed, which can create more stress and disconnect in their lives. Creating a safe space to express such emotions and to talk openly about some of the pressures and expectations of men, can be an important part of the therapeutic journey.
Therapy for men may also address communication skills. Men, like women, often seek therapy for difficulties in relationships. Often developing strong communication skills, where they can express their emotions and identify and request for their needs to be met can deepen intimacy and connection in their relationships.
In order to be more effective interpersonally, therapy will often include getting more familiar with their own personal experiences, emotions and values. Exploring the roles they play and their sense of identify including how they define themselves as individuals, partners, fathers and professionals, helps them areas in which they may have difficulties or the roles they play are no longer serving them.
In addition to help individuals identify their roles, their emotions, thoughts and values, therapy aims to explore short term goals and committed action towards those goals. Some of these goals, like deepening an intimate relationship or exploring new job opportunities, may require developing new skills such as conflict resolution and understanding needs, which will be targeted in therapy.
Therapy for men can also support men as they go through key life transitions such as becoming a father, retiring, separation and divorce or moving countries. These transitions can bring about unique challenges and key opportunities for personal development.
Each individual who comes to therapy is unique and brings their own personal journey. It is always part of our work to bring a tailored and personalised approach to therapy which is built around empathy, compassion, and insight into the unique personal contexts that our clients bring in terms of their values, culture and goals of therapy.