As more and more men are seeking psychological treatment for a wide range of male related issues, there seems to be less male therapists around to work with them. Over the past 20 years or so many more females than males have entered the psychology and related professions. Just as some females may be more comfortable in working with a female therapist, many men prefer working with a male, particularly when they are dealing with sensitive issues such as those related to sexual functioning.
In providing counseling for men’s issues for almost 40 years now, the range of problems men seek help for fall into several broad ranges:
1. Relationship issues can include sexual problems like pre-mature ejaculation and difficulty getting or maintaining an erection, difficulty meeting women and problems in making commitments to a relationship.
2. Because men tend to equate their job and career performance with their self worth, work-related stressors become more severe as men fear losing their job, struggle to find a job in a difficult market or worry what their significant other will think of them if they don’t keep up or get ahead.
3. Men tend to have problems in understanding, expressing and managing their emotions, especially anger. Counseling for men’s issues around anger is often initiated after the anger has caused a substantial problem in a relationship, job or gotten them in trouble with the legal system.
4. Alcohol and drug problems seen in men are often associated with efforts to control or manage their emotions.
5. In older men, issues arise over health problems, dealing with loss of function and limitations in their ability to engage in lifelong favorite hobbies and activities.
Having experienced some of these issues myself, in addition to relating as a male, I can identify with the pain and suffering other men have experienced.
The good news is that counseling for men’s issues can pay big dividends in learning to adjust and adapt to many of life’s most challenging problems. Increasingly, counseling is seen by many as a commitment to their mental and emotional growth and more and more males are seeking out counseling and psychological skills to enhance their performance and well-being .
Dr. Robert Heller is a psychologist and practices in Boca Raton, Florida.