Many men think therapy entails sitting in a room (or lying on a chaise) across from a bespectacled stranger and talking about feelings, secrets, and what their mother didn’t do for them in their childhood. Because of cultural perceptions of therapy, many men think that therapy is only for women, and attending therapy may feel unnatural or bring feelings of embarrassment. But what can men do to get unstuck, motivated, and feeling better when hard times come? Discover truths about men and therapy by reading below!
Myth #1: Men don’t want therapy.
Fact: In our culture, men have few acceptable emotional outlets. Men want these outlets and often struggle to find a safe, judgement-free place to express and share their experiences. Therapy is safe and completely confidential, and can quickly become a comfortable place for men.1 Men want therapy for many reasons, including coping with stress, work adjustment, sexual issues, depression (lack of motivation, feeling stuck), anxiety, addiction, anger management, and relationship problems.2
Myth: Therapy doesn’t benefit men.
Fact: Men can benefit from therapy just as much as women. Attending therapy often leads to a man’s ability to recognize self-worth and creates confidence. Working with trained professionals can help men learn to have stronger connections in relationships and friendships, as well as become more capable of understanding their own emotional experiences.3
Myth: Only women attend therapy.
Fact: While traditionally more women than men attend therapy, about one third of all people in therapy are men. According to a recent survey, over 14% of men experience some type of mental health challenge during their life. And research suggests that, because of cultural stigmas that limit conversation about mental health, the number of men that struggle with mental health is likely higher than 14%.4 Coming for the first time may seem intimidating, but many men find that they feel comfortable in therapy and find it helpful.
For therapy services, contact the BYU Comprehensive Clinic at 801-422-7759
3. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Association. (2012). Results from the 2012 national survey on drug use and health: Mental health findings. Retrieved from http://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/2k12MH_Findings/2k12MH_Findings/NSDUHmhfr2012.htm