I believe every man needs therapy. But maybe not for the reasons you think they do. Here are three reasons men should consider letting go of whatever mental blocks may hold them back from seeking out a therapist.
1. If more men sought out therapy and did so with pride instead of shame, it would make it OK for other men to acquire tools to express themselves better.
We all know that men tend to maneuver on the logical plane and women on the emotional. OK, but is it nature or nurture? How much of men’s struggle with self-expression has to do with wiring, and how much is due to society’s standards?
As a therapist, I see many who have difficulty expressing themselves in relationships. Most of them are women. If four of my buddies were seeing a therapist and I wasn’t, there would be a very high chance I would see one very soon. Men do what other men do. It’s been that way since the beginning of time. I’d probably go to therapy more than them too. I’d have the highest emotional intelligence. And win.
Yes, men are competitive. Why not use this to improve us? All these sessions would eventually lead to men talking about their feelings and exercising their self-expression muscle. This would lead to results, and, eventually, new definitions.
2. Men can help balance the culture of therapy, which is currently a mostly female profession.
Look up any therapy network and you’ll see it’s dominated by women. Just take a look at the psychologists and marriage family therapists on this site. If more men got therapy, more men would be therapists. That’s how I became a therapist. My therapist changed my life, and that experience sparked my interest in the process and helping others.
Then, when I went to “therapy school,” I noticed that I could count on one hand how many men were also studying to be therapists. If there were more male therapists, more men would probably seek therapy. We need more men in this business. It would be better for the world.
3. We live in a fatherless nation.
I worked with teenagers struggling with addiction in residential treatment for four years. Every single one of them had one thing in common: an absent father. Either dad was actually out of the picture or emotionally absent. The product of this was girls standing too close to me and boys mimicking everything I did. These kids were thirsty for a positive male figure in their life, which none of them had.
I believe this was a major reason why they fell into alcohol and drugs. I wonder if more men went to therapy, how many fathers would have had the tools to be emotionally present. I wonder how many marriages would have been saved, creating a safer container for the children. A large number of these teenagers have relapsed and are now having children of their own, thus starting the cycle all over again.
These are just three reasons to get men thinking about therapy, but the overarching truth is that therapy can be a powerful way to help anyone live a better, more satisfying life.