For men, seeking help from a licensed therapist in Toronto is often difficult. The problem men face is being able to openly talk about their problems. Unlike women, who find it easier to share what is bothering them and discover the underlying causes for their issues, men tend to bottle things up and keep their problems and concerns to themselves.
The reason men do this normally extends back to their childhood, where they were taught that men, in general, do not express emotional responses. In addition, they are taught they need to be the strong figure in a relationship everyone turns to for support when someone else needs comfort. Since they learn how to suppress their feelings at an early age, it is not long before they become out of touch with their emotions and feelings.
As such, it is uncommon for men to seek a release for their emotional states by turning to a therapist, but instead relying upon alcohol, drugs, or even becoming abusive in their relationships. Since they are not sure how to deal with what is truly bothering them, it can also lead to added stress, illnesses, health problems, and increased risks for heart disease.
Additionally, part of the problem of seeking professional help stems from the roles established by society. Men feel they must live up to these standards and not appear weak. Appearing weak in front of other men or expressing emotions are typically considered not normal social masculine behaviours. As a result, this can lead to men having a rather strong and negative response whenever someone mentions they should seek professional counselling.
The thought of talking to a therapist about their issues is a major hurdle for men. Many think talk therapy is a ridiculous notion and do not fully understand the benefits it can provide. It is not a sign of weakness when a man seeks help to learn how to better manage their own problems or address specific issues in their life, like sexual and intimacy concerns, or problems with their relationships.
One interesting fact men need to be aware of, is more men commit suicide than women. It is not just in Canada, but throughout the world where the rate of male suicides is significantly higher than female suicides. Researchers relate the cause for the substantial higher rates due to men not being able to accept they need help and the willingness to seek it because they believe it makes them weak. So they would rather take their own life, than obtain professional help.
One way some therapists are starting to sway men’s opinions of therapy is by educating them and convincing them it is perfectly normal behaviour for a man to seek counselling. Increasing awareness of health problems, suicide rates, and other factors that result from men not learning how to openly talk about their emotions, concerns, and other issues is another way to change the misconception therapy is not for men, when more men could actually benefit from it.
The thing to remember with professional counselling with a licensed therapist is it is completely confidential. No one has to know you are seeking help or talking to someone about what concerns you. Even if you are not entirely sure whether counselling is for you, it never hurts to schedule an initial consultation appointment to find out more about how therapy works and how it can help improve your life.
Schedule an initial consultation appointment today by calling Ellen Starr, a licensed therapist in Toronto, at 416-488-3102. Ms. Starr has over 25 years of experience and has helped other male clients develop constructive solutions to overcome their issues and concerns.