Every Man Has Feelings, Needs & Desires. What Are Yours?
“I believe the biggest stigma right now with mental health is that a lot of men are not talking about it.”
- Mauro Ranallo
Where Are You In Your Life?
Are you dissatisfied with where you are in life? Do you find yourself struggling with relationships, career, financial concerns, or maybe struggling with finding time to balance the demands of family, job, and friends?
Do you find yourself irritable, angry, or maybe unmotivated and down? Are you finding tension between where you are in life and where you think you should be, or what is expected of you? If any of the above are true for you…let’s talk about it.
While you might be reluctant to discuss any of the above issues or feel conflicted to even consider mental health support – therapy can prove to be an invaluable tool that allows you the space to explore these challenges and identify pathways toward success!
Men Tend to Suffer in Silence When Confronted with Mental Health Challenges, But Mental Health Care Is Self-Care!
Research shows that men are less likely to seek out support when they need it most and often suffer in silence. This can lead to carrying more of a psychological burden than necessary. Men who tend to be overburdened are more likely to experience issues with alcohol and drugs, or even consider and attempt suicide. Research finds that men actually have a higher rate of mental health challenges because they are less likely to seek out help.
Despite the progress made toward breaking down gender stereotypes and expectations, men are conditioned by society to “be the strong one,” hide their emotions, and not ask for help, especially when it comes to their mental health. Men who identify with a more traditional concept of masculinity often believe they should “man up” and suppress their emotions. This approach can lead to isolation and an inability to express emotions or feelings in healthy ways.
The traditional concept of masculinity also makes it difficult for men to seek out therapy, which is unfortunate because therapy can actually be a powerful tool in addressing mental health issues and needs. The stigma surrounding therapy can be even greater for men, who may perceive seeking help as a sign of weakness.
Therapy can provide a safe space for men to explore their emotions and develop healthy coping mechanisms. By teasing away the stigma and encouraging men to seek therapy, we can help to improve not only their mental health but also their relationships, career goals, and overall quality of life.
What Does Being A Man Really Mean These Days? How Do We Define Masculinity?
“Being a man,” and masculinity ideology describes and prescribes what is the norm for men. While, there are several definitions and ideas on what constitutes being a “man” in today’s modern world, from hyper-masculinity to toxic masculinity, research finds that there is a particular set of behaviors and norms that have held strong across populations over the years, some of those including: anti-femininity, achievement, eschewal of the appearance of weakness, and adventure, risk, and violence. (Levant & Richmond, 2007).
This particular set of behaviors and norms tends to be rigid and restrict expansion, perpetuating our ideas of gender and gender norms and roles. Gender includes assumptions, social beliefs, norms, and stereotypes about the behavior, thoughts, and emotions of males (APA, Pleck, 1981, 1995).
“Cisgender, transgender and gender non-corforming and gender-expansive men are not immune to the impacts of these rigid norms and expectations. Norms and stereotypes of masculinity also vary within and between groups associated with other dimensions of diversity such as race/ethnicity, nationality, SEXUAL ORIENTATION, ability, and religion.”
- American Psychological Association
“The social experiences, expectations, and consequences associated with being a man can be applied across intersecting dimensions of identity.”
- American Psychological Association
Still, in most cultures, men are socialized to be self-sufficient and to avoid expressing vulnerability or seeking help for emotional issues. As a result, they may feel ashamed or stigmatized for seeking therapy, which can lead to reluctance in seeking help and delay in getting necessary treatment. This stigma surrounding therapy for men can be a significant barrier to receiving the support they need for mental health issues, and it highlights the importance of addressing and dismantling gender stereotypes and societal expectations.
Supporting Men’s Mental Health Needs & Challenges
While there is indeed a male stereotype that society tends to norm around, men, individually, are not a stereotype. Every man has feelings, needs, and desires. Therapy can help you define what masculinity means to you.
Men often feel pressure to present themselves as strong, self-sufficient, and in control, which can make it difficult to discuss their mental health experiences and concerns. I can provide a non-judgmental space for men to explore their emotions, without fear of being judged or stigmatized. Therapy sessions provide men with an opportunity to explore their mental health concerns, needs, and desires in a way that they may not be able to with friends or family members. We can work together to identify the root causes of your challenges and develop strategies to overcome them and explore your needs and desires and strategies to get your needs met.
Non-judgmental Space to Explore Your Mental Health Concerns
Strategies to Uncover and Enhance Your Emotional Intelligence
Emotional intelligence is the ability to recognize and manage your emotions and the emotions of others. Given traditional beliefs of masculinity and what it means to be male, some men are not even aware of their inner emotional experience or suppress what they feel in an effort to cope with and manage what is going on. And some men have a hard time discerning, or reading, the emotions of others. My approach to therapy is helping you identify the driving forces that are behind your behaviors and why you do what you do in every situation. Exploring what’s driving your behavior will help us identify your thoughts, beliefs, and assumptions, and ultimately the set of emotions and feelings that cluster to form those thoughts. Similarly, we will spot the behaviors in others, and explore the thoughts and feelings that lie underneath the behaviors of others.
Men may face unique challenges in their relationships, including difficulty expressing emotions, communication barriers, and societal pressure to conform to traditional gender roles. Therapy provides a safe and supportive environment to explore these challenges and develop strategies to overcome them. Men may have learned unhealthy communication styles or coping mechanisms from their families or previous relationships, which can carry over into their current relationships. Together, we can explore these patterns and develop new, healthier ways of interacting with others. By exploring your own emotions, you can gain a better understanding of the emotions of others. This can help you to be more sensitive and responsive to the needs of your partners, friends, and family members.
Tools to Improve Your Relationship with Others
Personalized Mental Health Treatments for Improved Quality of Life
We will work together to identify the underlying emotions that may be contributing to your mental health challenges. We will work to identify your specific goals for therapy and develop a pathway forward that is tailored to your unique needs. Regardless of mental health concerns, whether it’s depression, anxiety, trauma, anger, or relationship issues, we can tackle it together. Therapy can be an effective way for you to discover and enhance your emotional intelligence. We can work together to explore the emotional realm to help you develop greater emotional awareness and regulation.
Common Reasons Men Seek Help from a Mental Health Professional
Men face a unique set of challenges and pressures that can impact their mental health and overall well-being. Despite having to deal with a variety of issues, many are reluctant to seek professional help for their mental health concerns due to stigma or societal expectations. Here are some instances when you should consider therapy:
Let’s Craft A Hero's Journey of Your Own Making, Defined By You
Psychotherapy can help men enhance emotional intelligence, develop communication skills and strategies, and boost self-awareness to nurture healthy relationships with others. During our therapy sessions, we will work together so you can learn how to challenge harmful societal messages and write and develop your own definition and sense of masculinity.
Discreet, Private, and Always Confidential
While therapy is always confidential, I also maintain a private experience and setting inviting and comforting to high-profile executives, entertainers, and celebrities (as well as others in the entertainment industry) who seek mental health support from a licensed professional. I understand the pressures and challenges that come with high-profile and public work and ensure a discreet and safe space for sharing.
frequently asked questions
Toxic masculinity refers to the harmful cultural norms and expectations that promote a narrow and limiting definition of masculinity. These norms may include beliefs that men should be tough, aggressive, emotionally stoic, and dominant and that any deviation from these norms is a sign of weakness. These societal messages can be harmful to men’s mental health, as they can lead to a sense of shame or inadequacy if men are unable to meet these expectations. Toxic masculinity can manifest in various ways, such as through gender-based violence, homophobia, and a lack of emotional expression or vulnerability. It can also contribute to harmful attitudes toward women and other marginalized groups, perpetuating discrimination and inequality.
Therapy for men helps my clients learn to identify the emotions that underlie their thoughts and behaviors and develop greater emotional awareness and regulation. Together, we can challenge the harmful societal messages surrounding masculinity and develop a more positive and healthy sense of self. By exploring and processing emotions related to your experiences with toxic masculinity, you can learn to develop a greater sense of empathy, communicate more effectively, and build stronger, more fulfilling relationships.
- Acknowledging the need for help in the first place. Many men may feel ashamed or weak for needing therapy, leading them to avoid seeking help altogether.
- Some men find it difficult to access and express their emotions – they are often socialized to suppress their emotions and instead focus on being logical and practical.
- Some men may simply not have the words or vocabulary to express what they are feeling or experience, which can make it even harder to articulate and explain what they are feeling.
- Some traditional forms of therapy may not resonate as well with men as they do with women. For example, group therapy sessions that rely heavily on sharing personal experiences might be less appealing to a man than to a woman.
- Some men might find it hard to find or locate the therapist they prefer. Some men prefer a therapist who also identifies as a man so they feel that someone truly understands what they are going through.