Counseling For Men
Do you feel stuck and not sure of what you really want?
Is it hard for you to open up to others, including your spouse? Do you feel like an observer of your life instead of living it? Do you feel less successful at home but more so at work? Are you hard pressed to know what you are feeling unless it is anger? Are you afraid your feelings are too much for you or your loved ones? Do your male friendships feel shallow and unsatisfying?
Men are not raised to be in touch with their feelings and often have a hard time understanding what others are feeling. We are trained from very early on to be competitors and see any display of emotion as “weakness”. Expressing feelings, especially tears, is an opportunity for others to tease, harass or attack.
This “boy code” is not only damaging to the men we grow into but also impacts our ability to be intimate and deal with our emotions and the emotions of others.
Are you contemplating marriage or an expectant father and feeling anxious about what lies ahead?
Men often lack healthy role models to guide them to be good husbands and fathers. They often step into these important roles without having much of an idea what is required.
Counseling can be an important way to get help in how to “walk the walk” in these challenging parts of adult life. Expressing tenderness and being emotionally open are keystones to raising healthy kids and nurturing a healthy relationship.
Are you skillful at work but feel inept at home?
If you are struggling with how to “be a man” or don’t even know what that means it might be time to get some help.
If you feel competent at work and find satisfaction there but when you come home you find you are at a loss on how to participate fully with your spouse or kids then you are like many men out there. We are in new territory today with redefined roles that require men to engage at work and at home.
Our fathers often felt their jobs were done once they arrived at home and that was not enough then and it certainly isn’t now. Creating a new definition on what it means to be a man is key to making our home lives vital and connected. Men's counseling can help you find your own definition that includes being a more nurturing and present father and being attuned to your spouse’s wants and dreams.
Counseling for Men in Relationships
Do you feel isolated and alone even when you are with male friends? Is your spouse your best (and sometimes only) friend?
Men often end up in “The Man Box” where conversations are superficial and avoid the underlying emotions and struggles of adult life. One man will inquire, “So, how are things going?” and the reply that comes back is inevitability, “fine.”
These traditional friendships often fail to include discussing our deepest desires and struggles. By learning to trust and expressing our vulnerabilities we find that deep relationships thrive. With those deeper relationships a sense of isolation and loneliness dissipates.
Do you find your partner and yourself often having conflicts that never seem to get resolved?
Often times the things couples fight about don’t really change all that much. And they repeat because the issues are never resolved. It is exhausting to have this happen time and again. Getting help in counseling can give both parties the skills and support they need so that they feel seen, heard and understood.
Are relationships more work than you ever imagined?
Do you feel unsure about how to be close?
Your life together began with so much joy and hope. Now it may feel that that joy is a fading memory. It’s normal for relationships to change. And as those changes happen you’ll need new skills in order to keep your connection and closeness alive.
It’s common for men to feel at a disadvantage in their relationships.
We are not raised to be intimate with others, share our feelings or express emotions freely. And yet these very things are needed in order to have close loving relationships.
There is an element of shame in not being able to fix our own problems and that can hold you back from getting the help you need. We as men compare ourselves to others often “comparing our insides" (hurts, perceived deficiencies) with “other people’s outsides” (seeing only their exteriors: jobs, possessions, etc.) This can lead to feeling shame about our shortcomings as men.
Give yourself credit for looking for help through men's counseling. That is something most men have a hard time doing.
You can gain the tools and insights to understand yourself and make your relationships vibrant and alive again.
You may have concerns about getting help:
Like: “I don’t feel comfortable talking to someone I don’t know, especially another man, about my problems.”
Growth and change come with some degree of risk. Therapy, like all relationships is based on trust and having a good feeling about the other person. Taking the time to come in, check out your concerns and find out if I am the right person for you to work with is an important next step. Men often feels less shame talking to another man in counseling.
“The problems I have with self-esteem, anxiety or anger will lessen over time, right?”
We very seldom make progress by working on ourselves, by ourselves. Changing is a fluid and dynamic process that takes two people who are engaged and working towards an important goal or outcome.
“Counseling takes time and money. I am not sure I have the time and can afford it.”
Think about what happens if you don’t get the help you need. You will go on struggling with the same issues creating greater unhappiness for yourself and others. Consider the counseling as an investment in yourself that will grow in value as time progresses. Change often comes slowly but once set upon a new course your life moves toward greater hopefulness and satisfaction.
As the Roman statesmen Plutarch said: “Fortune favors the bold.” Now is a good time to make a bold and courageous move to help yourself.
Uniqueness: Why Work with Me?
I have been helping men make better, more satisfying lives for over 25 years. I am the father of two grown children and have been married for 25 years. I bring my life experience and professional skills to our work together.
Contact me for more information regarding men's counseling or to set up an initial 25 minute in person consult at no fee.
Remember the issues and feelings you are dealing with are common for men. They are not a sign of weakness and are an opportunity to learn how to make your life and relationships better.