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Men in therapy. What do they talk about?

Have you ever wondered what sorts of issues lead boys and men to seek Psychological therapy?

Men and boys are not alone in struggling to make sense of their lives. Often the problems they experience are similar to many other blokes. They’re also not too different from the challenges experienced by women.

The truth is, there’s lots of individual differences in the issues that each person faces. But in their attempts to make more sense out of life, blokes tend to discuss issues relating to a few key areas. First, significant life events often prompt a person to seek additional support. These things include the death of a loved-one, unemployment, changes in circumstances and a whole bunch of other unexpected events. Not surprisingly, relationship difficulties also come up often. This difficulty could be between a male and his partner, or between a teenage boy and his parents, or even with mates. The impact of this on how the person is functioning on a day-to-day is also discussed. In other words, how does this difficulty impact you in an unhelpful way.

Here’s a snapshot of the common themes that come up in a therapy session:

Seeking therapy is a form of Self Care

Men (and teenage boys) are, in general, not the best at looking after themselves. This is particularly true in relation to their emotional health. As a result, too many males end up managing their stress with activities that are numbing, distracting or shaming. This leads them to feel more disconnected, disempowered, and isolated.

The goal of psychological therapy is to help men find ways to navigate difficult circumstances. This involves lots of skill-building to help regulate strong emotions, manage addictive behaviours, and maintain a clear mind so that you can engage with things that matter most to you.

Good self-care means learning to do activities that are nurturing, joyful and create a sense of connectedness. Counselling is being increasingly seen as an acceptable way of getting support and creating a space in which men and boys begin to learn more about themselves, what matters to them, and their capacity to change.

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MensPsych is not a crisis support service. Appropriate services can be reached 24 hours a day: Lifeline 13 11 14;Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467; Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800; MensLine Australia 1300 78 99 78; Beyond Blue 1300 22 4636

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