When James was young, his father died. Later, his stepfather was not a good role model, and his mother was mentally unbalanced for a long period of time. He was frequently encouraged to “man up” and “learn to play sports” instead of pursuing artistic hobbies. As an adult, he has trouble expressing his feelings, and when conflict arises, he internalizes blame instead of discussing and resolving the issue.
Therapy for Men in Marietta
Though the example above is true, a rough childhood isn’t the only thing that can lead to a man needing therapy. Relationship problems, a rough time at work, family strife, a lack of direction, and plenty of other things can be difficult to work through alone. While reaching out to a counselor can be a hard first step for anyone, men may have a particularly hard time doing so. When you’ve been taught by society that “real men don’t have emotions,” it’s difficult enough to admit you do have feelings, let alone come to the decision that seeking therapy could be helpful. But at Thriveworks Marietta, we work with men everyday to address situations from the small to the large.
How “Toughness” Effects Mental Health
From childhood, men are taught that expressing emotion isn’t “manly.” Because men, unlike women, are not encouraged to be emotional, they sometimes don’t even have the language to describe how they are feeling in any great detail. Because they don’t have that language, and therefore may not be able to even recognize complex emotions, it may be difficult for them to acknowledge when they do need professional help (Winerman).
To complicate the matter further, seeking out a therapist requires admitting he needs help and then relying on another person with whom he must “openly discuss and express emotion,” which conflicts with their traditional gender role (Winerman).
This repression of feelings and emotions can lead to stress, conflict in relationships, and on-going repression of trauma. Repressed trauma can result in many other problems, including anger issues. Learning to express feelings and emotions in a healthy way will lead to stronger relationships and improved general life satisfaction.
To point to one specific example, let’s consider romantic relationships. If a man is unable to be vulnerable in front of his partner, doesn’t know how to talk about feelings, even his partner’s feelings, or doesn’t negotiate conflict well, that can lead to dissolving a relationship. However, if the man learns skills that enable him to face emotional experiences and open up to others, his chances of relationship success increase.
Career success is often a driving force in people’s lives. A man who is able to deal with the complexities of working with others, both superiors and subordinates, will increase the likelihood of career advancement. However, someone who becomes frustrated when conflict arises instead of using strong problem-solving skills to address the conflict will have a lower chance of career advancement.
How Therapy for Men Differs
In therapy for men, we focus on skill building. Though, yes, you will have to talk about your feelings, you’ll be taught skills for expressing and managing them in a healthy way. With your therapist, you’ll set goals for your sessions and create a plan to accomplish those goals. It’s important for you to know our counselors appreciate how difficult seeking therapy for men can be. It takes a lot of courage to make the first appointment.
Our professional counselors work with men every day. Though that first step may create some nervousness, rest assured, your counselor will be a neutral partner in your journey toward mental health. All sessions are 100% confidential, and whatever struggles you need to work through, your counselor is trained to provide therapy for men in a way that will work for you.
As mentioned previously, there are many areas of life in which therapy for men may be useful. At Thriveworks Marietta, we have experts in many different areas of counseling. Some of these are:
- Life coaching
- Marriage and couples counseling
- Career counseling
- Grief counseling
- Divorce recovery
Again, think of therapy as a regular session with a coach who will help you build skills. Whether one or two areas of your life need a boost or you require therapy to address a trauma impacting your entire life, therapy for men can teach skills to navigate the world of emotions and create successful relationships with friends, family, and work.
We understand men have unique needs. You have a busy schedule, a lot of responsibilities, and distinct ways of communicating. It can also be difficult to expose your emotions, even to those you care about. We will match you with a counselor who understands this and will work with you to create the outcome you’re seeking. Whether you are recovering from a serious trauma, or just looking to thrive more in your daily life, we are ready to help you make that change a reality.
Thriveworks Marietta Therapy for Men
At Thriveworks Marietta, we know you have a lot going on, so we do not operate with a waiting list. We are ready to get to work when you need us. Being a man in modern society is difficult, and we know that. Our therapists are experienced in working with men and their unique perspective on life in all its variety.
Call Thriveworks Marietta today. It would be our honor to walk with you on this journey.
Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (US). “Addressing the Specific Behavioral Health Needs of Men.” Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (US); 2013. Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK144290/
Winerman, Lea. “Helping men to help themselves.” June 2005. Monitor on Psychology. 36.6.