Too often, myths and misconceptions about mental health services prevent people from seeking support. My goal is to provide a space where these myths and misconceptions may be examined. The blogs titled “Therapy Note” dispel or provide clarification to some of the more common myths for the population/topic listed in the title of the note.
For me, one of the best things about being a therapist is getting to see the common elements of the human experience. Being able to work with men in couples as well as individuals has been a great part of my practice. In fact, men have been some of the most successful clients.
Myth 1: Men attend therapy only when their partners “make” them attend.
Reality: An important part of the therapeutic process is the willingness to engage. The image of the talkative woman who drags the unwilling non-communicative man is a stereotype. Men seek out their own individual therapy and attend groups of their own free will.
Myth 2: Men only come to therapy for “anger”
Reality: Men enter therapy for many reasons. The space is used to address a variety of mental health concerns, navigate life transitions such as the end of a relationship or change of career and for personal growth.
Myth 3: Men do not process emotions.
Reality: Humans have inner worlds that emotions occupy. This myth seems to circulate based upon the differences that exist in the expression and sharing of emotions. The expression and ability to share may be different but it is inaccurate to state that men “do not” process.
Myth 4: Men who go to therapy are “weak.”
Reality: Addressing one’s mental health as well as processing feelings are strengths. It is not an easy process to sit in a room with a total stranger and discuss deeply personal and, at times, traumatic things.
It is important to have spaces and people with whom we can be our complete selves. I invite you to be more open to the emotional content that men in your life have to share.