Counselling for Men
Photo by Nik Shuliahin on Unsplash
As a Counsellor, I have helped so many men work through a whole range of issues over the years, and yet there is one thing I know to be true (because this is what they always tell me).
Most Men put off asking for help until things have reached crisis point!
I wonder if the following will sound familiar to you?
Most Men usually only call a Counsellor because their relationship is hanging by a thread, or their job is being badly affected or their mental health (and physical health) have taken a turn for the worse. And most often, because their Partner and then family or friends have repeatedly asked them to get help!
Up until that point, they have usually spent months, but more often years, convincing themselves that they are fine.
That they "can handle it."
That "it's not too bad."
That "it could be worse".
That they "haven't got time for bloody counselling!"
When they eventually contact me, they find it hard to know where to start and can be very wary of the counselling process.
It can be like getting blood out of a stone asking most men to talk about their feelings, especially when the feelings are difficult ones to acknowledge.
Yet I cannot tell you the difference counselling has made to the men who have taken that leap of faith and called me for help.
Men of all ages, with different jobs, different financial circumstances, different backgrounds but all with one thing in common.
That historic belief that Men must be strong.
It turns out that the strongest thing they may ever do is find the courage to ask for help.
How can Counselling help me?
Maybe your problems have become even more of a struggle now that you're having to deal with the Pandemic on top of everything else?
As a man, asking for help can be the hardest thing to do because you're living with so many stereotypes of what a man "should" be like.
I've lost count of the amount of men who feel they need to put on a front with me, who won't let themselves cry, who minimise the effect that things have had on them.
And yet, once the trust has been built and they start to open up, it's living proof that men DO have emotions, they ARE affected by difficult life events and they CAN find ways to talk about them.
They CAN and DO cry, and finally allowing themselves that space in a counselling session to drop the act and just tell it like it is has made such a difference for them.
Paul's Counselling Experience
Photo by Ryan Hoffman on Unsplash
Still not convinced? Then I want to share an email I received a few months back.
It's from one of my long-term clients, Paul. I helped Paul for 18 months and at the end of his counselling, he wanted to share his experience in the hope that it might encourage other men like him to seek help.
Paul put off asking for help so many times and only came to me when he was near breaking point. Have a read and see what you think - I haven't changed a word, it's exactly as he wrote it.
"So its March 2019 and I am struggling mentally. Like most men of a similar age you view it as a sign of weakness to ask for help. THIS IS THE WORST THING YOU CAN DO. After doing a lot of research on the internet and looking at different people, I came across Sam. It was the best thing that happened in a long while. I was at a place where everything had become a problem. Previous things in life constantly on my mind, current things work / Family had turned me into a very miserable person to be around. It wasn’t fair on my Family, I had to sort something out.
After the first few sessions I knew Sam was the right choice. Her understanding of your situation and the ability to make you unravel it all in your head is amazing. The coping mechanisms that you will learn can only help you go forward with your life. There are times when it is hard, and you have to face up to some stuff that is really hard. Yes I have been in tears I'll admit it, but what you get through the other side it is an amazing feeling to have your Mojo back.
I have just finished with Sam after 18 months - It's time to crack on with life again. I cant thank her enough and I know she is there if I ever need her again. Ladies / Gents don’t struggle with your mental health - pick up the phone, make that call. It will be the best decision you ever made.