As a man you are driven by society’s script of the ‘hunter gatherer’ and ‘provider’ with a desire to protect your family.
You have a competitive edge and you want to achieve everything you set out to do and to succeed at every level.
You are self-reliant, independent, strong and tough; asking for support is a sign of weakness. You may well feel your masculinity is under threat even at the very thought of counselling, which in turn could trigger feelings of inadequacy, shame or failure.
So why on earth would you want to see a Counsellor?
Let’s look at the alternative
Over time your problems may well escalate and there is a good possibility you will increase risk taking behaviour, drink more, take drugs, become depressed, isolated and be in a frequent state of anger, anxiety or stress thus, adding to the pressure.
Eventually something has to give and in time you may also notice physical symptoms such as headaches, migraine, stomach pains, backache, loss of libido and other unexplained physical symptoms.
Your health will deteriorate and your personal and professional relationships will be affected.
So why wouldn’t you want to see a Counsellor?
Men and mental health
1 in 6 men experience domestic abuse 
1 in 8 men are diagnosed with a common mental health disorder such as (but not limited to) anxiety and depression 
Men are 3 times more likely to report frequent drug abuse than women 
Men are more than 3 times likely to become alcohol dependent than women 
75% of people who take their own lives are male 
The amount of men seeking counselling is increasing
A small scale survey carried out by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy  revealed 62% of BACP members had a higher percentage of male clients compared to 5 years preceding the study.
Although I did not take part in the above survey, I concur with the findings and have noticed a steady increase in male clients; particularly since working in private practice accepting independent referrals.
At the time of writing this article in 2014, I estimated 45% of my clients were male. That said, the percentage has continued to increase and currently fluctuates between 60% and 70%; suggesting men really are talking more.
Your opportunity to talk
Rather than sticking your head in the sand hoping your problems will disappear, counselling provides you with an opportunity to talk about and offload your problems with a trained professional in a confidential environment.
When you engage in therapy with Julie, she will not judge you, she will accept you unconditionally and she will not only listen to what you say, she will actually hear what you are saying.
It takes courage to ask for and accept support; to engage in counselling is strength not a weakness.
Counselling in itself can be tough; after all you will be focusing on and talking about your emotions however, once you overcome the initial reluctance to see a Counsellor you will notice the benefits; your quality of life will improve.
Rethink provide information regarding support and who to contact if you are in a crisis – to visit their site click here.
© Julie Twist 2014
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