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Why Men Should Consider Therapy

In a world where mental health is gaining recognition, one demographic often left in the shadows is men. The idea that seeking therapy is a sign of weakness or vulnerability is deeply ingrained in our society, but it's time to challenge this outdated mindset. In this article, we will explore the compelling reasons why men should consider therapy as a valuable tool for personal growth and well-being.

Why Men Should Consider Therapy

Breaking the Stigma Surrounding Men and Therapy

Therapy can play a crucial role in breaking the stigma surrounding men seeking help for their mental health, creating a safe space for them to explore their thoughts and emotions without judgment. This shift towards a more accepting and understanding attitude towards therapy can pave the way for men to prioritize their well-being and seek the support they need.

Therapy provides a safe and supportive environment for men to explore their thoughts, feelings, and behaviours without judgment. It offers a space to gain insight into their own patterns and beliefs, allowing them to make sense of their experiences and work towards positive change. Seeking help when needed is a sign of strength, not weakness. It takes courage to acknowledge when things are not going well and to take proactive steps towards healing and growth.

It can be a big step in general to reach out for help. Asking for/looking into therapy takes a huge amount of strength because often an individual will have to do the research to find the right type of therapy and then make initial contact before getting started. Although this process can be done quickly it does entail a bit of back and forth and sometimes, a person could back out due to fear in the meantime.

What therapy is not:

  • A "fix" it solution

For some reason, many people view therapy fix. Therapy is all about what you put into it. You can not just walk into a therapist's office and expect immediate results.

  • An alternative to medication

Just attending therapy does work for many, especially if the mental illness or concerns you've gone in with have developed. However, with conditions such as schizophrenia or depression which tend to have a stronger genetic component, medication is often suggested as well. Therapy is not an alternative if medication is required.

  • One-Sided

Therapy is a collaborative effort on both the part of the counsellor/therapist and the client. A therapist will not tell you what to do or give you advice, instead, their job is to help you find these answers through collaborative work and exploration. Although this sounds challenging it is often the case that if someone tells you what they think you should do, you will easily dismiss it as an "opinion" whereas by coming to a realisation on your own you are more likely to implement effective change.

Men tend to have more of a solution-based way of thinking, so therapy can be more difficult but also incredibly rewarding.

Types of Therapy for Men

Therapy is a fairly broad term that seems to get thrown around these days. Unless you are in the field of mental health you may not be aware of all the different kinds of therapies available and more importantly which ones are most suitable to you.

Some therapies can be combined or followed one after the other to get the best results, it's not one size fits all and you might find a therapy you respond to but not a counsellor you bond with. That doesn’t mean you should give up or worse not start at all.

  • CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) CBT is an effective way to manage mental illness. It is often the NHS' “prescribed” form of therapy as its effectiveness can be more accurately tracked. This type of therapy looks at mental illness as a negative cycle of thoughts and aims to break that cycle and teach you alternative ways of thinking and thinking more positively in general. Even though this form of therapy is highly recommended and effective, it can be short-term if not organised privately. CBT can be useful initially to control your symptoms and get you in a better state of mind.

  • PERSON-LED/ INTREGATIVE Person-led therapy can be an integrative approach, combining multiple different therapies including CBT and creative depending on what the client requires and will be most beneficial to you. This type of therapy concentrates on the individual and can often include reciting past trauma and childhood events. The client leads the session, bringing what they choose every week and doesn't always follow a linear course. It can lack the structure that some people require and take longer than some other methods, however, is can be empowering for the individual to discover their own methods of coping throughout the process.

  • NLP (Neurolinguistic Programming) NLP is a form of therapy that looks into personal development and encourages you to gain insight into your own mind, your behaviours and why you act the way you do. It will challenge the way you think about yourself and what you want going forward. NLP is similar to CBT as your therapist will help you implement new ways of thinking and “re-program” those responses. NLP therapists will often empower their clients to find the answers to their problems themselves and help them work towards a goal or aspiration. This is a very logical approach to therapy and will be best suited for someone with a logical mind and who is keen to develop themselves personally and commit to that process of change.

  • Hypnosis The idea of hypnosis or hypnotherapy can be daunting and quite frankly a little scary. If you have a mental illness that is centred around the idea of losing control, this form of therapy could be liberating or just too far out of reach. I was once told that if you believe that hypnosis won’t work, it won’t. You really need to go into this with an open mind, it is a process like any other and not a quick-fix solution. This form of therapy requires trust and focus on increased relaxation and a changed sense of reality and therefore you become more open to suggestions and more likely to change your behaviour or mindset. It is worth thinking about the effects of this type of therapy before jumping in, you may experience intense emotion, relive memories or experience more physical effects such as dizziness and nausea. Speak to your therapist first about your concerns.

  • ERP – Exposure and response prevention This type of therapy is behavioural and therefore centred around altering negative behaviours and breaking cycles. This therapy works towards an end goal and focuses on exposing the individual to their fears and concerns to build up a form of resistance. This therapy is primarily used for OCD, Phobia, PTSD and Anxiety. You must be willing to offer your therapist an insight into your life and behavioural patterns so a certain level of trust is required. You also need to be a place for which you want to get better, this is not an easy form of therapy and requires strength of body and mind.

  • Creative therapy Creative Therapy encompasses different things such as the use of music, dance, art and literature to express emotion and storytelling. Creative therapy can become very "deep" very quickly and is particularly useful for those who struggle with verbal communication or are reluctant to the therapy process. By using objects, sounds or drawings to communicate you'll find that a "barrier" is created making the individual feel safer expressing their feelings. Often an individual will apply a "persona" to an object rather than talking directly about themselves, making difficult subjects easier to communicate.

Where to start?

Why Men Should Consider Therapy

If you are nervous about talking to a therapist or talking in general a good place to start is journaling. Bullet journals are great to start with because they:

  • Help learn self-communication which is incredibly beneficial before therapy.

  • Encourage self-reflection and practice talking openly even if it's just to yourself.

  • Are structured journals. Reducing the "blank page" fear. like These journals are designed to increase emotive literacy, and confidence and discover triggers of anxiety and stress.

You may feel more confident going into a therapy session after having used a journal, or you can take it with you and use it as a means of communication to get started.

You can start small with Discovery Journal's light collection. A brilliant introduction to structured journaling:

Managing Stress and Anxiety Through Therapy

Therapy is a powerful tool for managing stress and anxiety, providing individuals with coping mechanisms and strategies to navigate the challenges they face in their daily lives. By learning how to identify and address sources of stress and anxiety, men can develop healthier ways of coping and improve their overall mental well-being.

In therapy, individuals can explore how their past experiences and beliefs shape their current relationships, allowing them to make meaningful changes and cultivate more fulfilling connections with others; some benefits include:

  • Improving Relationships Individuals can strengthen their relationships by attending regular therapy, as their mental health improves relationships around them will likely stabilise.

  • Developing Healthy Coping Strategies By altering their mindset and learning new ways to cope while in therapy, individuals have a higher chance of carrying on these practices even after their therapy finishes, improving their quality of life.

  • Increasing emotional literacy Explaining how you feel accurately is difficult. Being in therapy helps one get used to talking about how they feel more clearly and makes them less afraid to use emotive language in general.

  • Building confidence in communication Therapy is all about talking and learning to talk about big issues. Once a person gets into the practice of regularly talking about how they feel, it can make it easier outside of the therapy room with family and friends. For more information about therapy practices try one of our other blogs:

  • Which therapy is best for me?

  • Engaging with Trauma: How best to support your partner

  • The dangers of self-diagnosing

  • Find your perfect therapy based on your personality type

Why Men Should Consider Therapy

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