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Therapy for Men: Why It’s Important, How It Works, & More
In therapy, men’s issues refer to an array of mental health struggles that affect the male gender. These could be anything from depression, substance use disorder, schizophrenia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and suicidal tendencies. However, while many men continue to suffer from such mental conditions, compared to women, they are less likely to seek counseling.
According to Statista, in 2019, 11.2% of US men and 20.8% of US women received mental health treatment. What’s the reason behind this disparity? For one, the majority of men tend to ignore or hide their troubles. Besides, many of them shy away from discussing their issues because it eats into their masculinity.
Despite these habits, the right approach ensures that a psychotherapist gets through to a man. And for a reluctant male, it’s possible to find a psychologist who offers services exclusive to men. Given this, it has since become easier to explain how men’s counseling can enhance life quality, leading men to appreciate its value. And as men continue to learn of the many benefits of therapy, more of them are likely to seek it.
Why Men Therapy Is Essential?
Most fathers in the current generation are physically and emotionally absent due to hectic jobs. There’s a lot of evidence to show how work affects men’s role in their children’s lives. And if they are present, they are often emotionally detached from their kids. As such, as sons grow up, they lack male models to guide them into adulthood.
Teenage years, in particular, are quite delicate for boys. At this stage, they crave a role model who will teach them how to deal with and succeed in the world. When they don’t find one, they are more likely to fill that gap with unhealthy habits.
Therapy for men at this stage and beyond is paramount because it helps them process the absence of a male model in their lives. Besides, it will teach them how to be better, making them reliable role models to the next generation of males.
Another reason why therapy for men is essential is it helps improve relationships. See, many males continue to face trouble when expressing their emotions to their spouses and other people. As a result, these unspoken feelings are bound to ruin the relations men have with others at some point.
With therapy, males can learn how to process and express their feelings to others. Besides, counseling can offer a safe area where men can communicate their issues to their partners, friends, parents, and relatives. This way, they will learn how to communicate their opinions and thoughts more easily, cultivating more open, healthy relationships.
Therapy for males is also necessary since it helps them understand the fundamental truth for a happy life. See, most men tend to think that they can take care of anything, but the fact is that this is not always the case. This mentality will be addressed with psychotherapy, creating a generation of males who understand their limitations. Moreover, this new population of men will appreciate that it always needs to improve.
Deciphering Online Counselling for Men
As more men seek and embrace therapy, there’s a need to provide it more conveniently. The internet has since proven to be a reliable and easier mode for delivering and accessing therapy. And as this trend proliferates, a new form of counseling, called online therapy, has since emerged. Let’s take an in-depth look at this kind of therapy and how it relates to males.
What Is Online Therapy for Men?
Online therapy for men refers to the provision of professional counseling services to males over the internet. It is just as much as productive as conventional counseling, according to various experts in the field. Better yet, online therapy for men comes with an array of advantages, including the following:
- Accessibility – it can be accessed from anywhere, becoming a better solution to disabled men;
- Affordability – it saves costs for both clients (e.g., fare) and psychotherapists (overhead fees);
- Convenience – psychotherapists and clients can schedule meetings at the best times;
- Privacy – it’s not necessary to visit a psychotherapist or reveal personal details;
- Various communication modes.
How Does Online Therapy for Men Work?
By searching the internet, males can quickly find lists of various sites offering online therapy. There is a dedicated website, meaning that it deals with a specific issue, say substance use disorder. At the same time, another company might provide online therapy for various problems at a go. No matter the provider, counselors offer their services in ways such as:
- Phone call;
- Real-time messaging;
- Video conferencing;
Why Do Men Not Go to Counseling?
A small fraction of males goes to therapy. According to studies, men are less inclined to get assistance with mental health problems compared to women. Besides, when it’s time to seek help, men tend to push things until a real situation presents itself. The reasons behind this vary from person to person.
For instance, males are often more particular about their privacy. As such, they will hold back on going to therapy until they can be sure that seeking counseling will not affect their status, employment, etc.
Moreover, society expects males to desist from displaying any form of emotional vulnerabilities. Therefore, no matter their challenge, men will hesitate to get assistance to preserve their masculinity.
Why Are Men Afraid of Therapy?
For many men, getting therapy is a nightmare. They are expected to put on a face of bravery no matter what situation they battle. As such, they will likely shy away from therapy for fear of their family members or friends finding out.
Another thing that makes males afraid of therapy is the shame of other people learning about their problems. In therapy, online or conventional, clients have to communicate their problems honestly to ensure that the professional delivers the best remedy. The prospect of opening up to these practitioners scares many men.
How Much Does Online Therapy for Men Cost?
Compared to conventional mental health support, the cost of online therapy for men is quite reasonable. Assistance is provided over the internet, meaning the practitioner won’t have to rent a space. Besides, since they don’t have to run and maintain an office, their overhead costs are minimized. Therefore, they don’t have to charge males a high price to cover their expenses and service expenses.
Online therapy for men is also cheaper because it’s not mandatory to travel to the psychotherapist’s office. Moreover, many providers of online therapy for males do not charge consultation and other administrative fees.
All the same, the price of online therapy for males is dependent on the provider. Also, the problem being treated will influence the charges. If you find a top expert, you are likely to pay a premium. However, it helps to understand that there’re online services that deliver free online therapy to males. And despite coming at no cost, this form of counseling is still good.
What Makes Men Seek Therapy, Symptoms, & Impact of Masculinity
The pressure for everyday jobs, professional & personal relationships, and intimacy issues are reasons men seek online therapy. However, many men fail to seek counseling due to several reasons. First, since the signs of psychological problems in males often keep others away, it is often hard to get men to accept and stick with therapy.
An excellent illustration of this point is depression. When men are battling this condition, they tend to be quite angry or bad-tempered. Given this, getting them to go to treatment can be quite tricky. Another reason why men might miss out on necessary intervention is that they often fail to display emotions. It is quite rare to spot men crying, and they are less likely to exhibit suicidal attempts or share their problems with others.
All the same, men and women battle an array of psychological issues from daily. Below are some conditions that push men to seek online or conventional therapy:
- Body image issues;
- Gender identity;
- Borderline personality disorder.
What Are the Signs of Psychological Issues in Men?
Identifying the symptoms of psychological problems is vital in helping men to seek the right therapy on time. According to experts, the earlier the therapy commences, the more effective it can be. That said, men may exhibit different symptoms to women for similar conditions. Below are some tell-tale signs of psychological issues in males:
- Shifts in mood, energy, & appetite;
- Troubled, less, or excess sleeping;
- Alcohol and drug abuse;
- Suicidal thoughts;
- Headaches and digestive problems;
- Strange thoughts;
- Engaging in risky behavior.
When men exhibit one or more of these signs persistently, it is time to get them assessed for psychological problems. These conditions can be easily treated with online and conventional therapy.
Masculinity and Men Therapy
Masculinity refers to a combination of habits, attributes, and responsibilities associated with boys/ men. It is a socially-constructed concept, but studies have since shown that some masculine patterns are biological. Characteristics considered masculine include strength, leadership, independence, and courage.
Throughout their lives, society expects men to show masculinity. It means that they are not likely to display emotions, e.g., dependence, crying, or just being vulnerable. Given this, many of them will often hold back from getting online or conventional therapy. If they seek counseling for their problems, they risk being perceived as less masculine by their communities.
Psychological experts can step in to help address the divide between these two concepts. By accepting that masculinity can make men more reluctant to share their problems, they will be more willing to embrace counseling. In turn, this can make it easier for therapy to work on them.
Over time, psychotherapists have succeeded in helping men understand that “normal” male habits have nothing to do with suffering in silence. In turn, this has enabled them to deal with their feeling better, ensuring that they realize their goals and fulfill their responsibilities.
Food for Thought
Most people who seek out psychotherapy are women. However, as we continue to unravel masculinity mental illness and other psychological issues, it becomes evident that therapy can go a long way as a solution. The point remains that, to be effective, the approach to men therapy should be tweaked from time to time. A right treatment should appeal to a man’s competence and strengths while also paying attention to a man’s discomfort with vulnerability.
Need to learn more? Here at DrMental, you can find detailed descriptions of therapy services and their benefits. The site contains a library of useful information about psychology and therapy.
I have a Master’s and a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology. I have 20 plus years of experience helping people solve problems of stress, anxiety, and depression associated with relationships, spiritual and changes-in-life issues, addictions, incarceration, emotional, physical, and sexual abuseRead more