Research indicates that men are significantly less likely than women to schedule therapy sessions. When men do seek therapy, they tend to do so at times of extreme crisis or if they’re specifically referred by a physician. The common misconception among men (and people in general) is that therapy is for people who are in crisis. Truthfully, therapy can be a beneficial resource for those who are in crisis as well as those who want to improve their relationships, who are navigating life transitions, and a whole range of other everyday concerns that arise. In this blog, we’re going to walk through the top five reasons that men seek therapy. If you’re a man who’s been putting off scheduling a counseling session, we hope these common concerns will resonate with you and give you the nudge you need to schedule a visit with one of the knowledgeable team members at LMV Counseling.

1 – Difficulty Showing or Expressing Emotions

It’s not “manly” to show your emotions or talk about your feelings. From the time men are young boys, they are told not to cry, not to pout, not to shout. Over time, men may feel like expressing any emotion isn’t masculine enough. Men tend to bottle up feelings until there’s too much pressure. Men often come to therapy when they’re having trouble finding healthy ways to express and process emotions – even if that’s not why they think they’re in the session. For example, a man might schedule a session because he can’t concentrate at work, he keeps getting angry and doesn’t know why, or his relationships never last more than a few months. As he talks about these situations, it turns out difficulty expressing emotions is causing struggle and frustration in other areas.

2 – Seeking Help with Relationships (Romantic, Familial & Friendships)

While it may be related to difficulty expressing emotions or some other concerns, men often schedule therapy sessions when they struggle in their relationships. For some, that means having a tough time developing and maintaining romantic partnerships. Others are unsatisfied by their familial relationships. Finally, some men have trouble developing and sustaining close friendships, which we’ll discuss in more depth below.

3 – Difficulty Confiding in Friends About Emotions or Mental Health

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Many men have numerous superficial friendships based on shared interests and surface level discussions. When it comes to opening up and diving deeper about emotions or struggles with mental health or other more serious topics, men aren’t always great about sharing. This can make their relationships less fulfilling or leave men feeling like their friends will be unwilling to talk to them about these issues or like they can’t ask friends for help. Therapy can help men become more willing to open up to their friends and give them the communication tools to help friends feel more comfortable opening up and talking with them.

4 – Feeling Pressure to be a “Manly” Man

Men may feel a lot of pressure to be successful, provide for their families, promote a certain image, and a wide range of other things that are supposed to make them “manly.” Failure to behave in ways that society deems manly can leave men feeling a lack of confidence, which can be further emasculating. There’s no right or wrong way to be a man. If you’re healthy, seeking happiness and wellness, and cultivating meaningful relationships, you’re being manly. Therapy can help men feel more confident in themselves even if they don’t fit into whatever mold the world is trying to force them into.

5 – Trauma & Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

therapy for men

While both men and women can experience trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), men are more likely to engage in careers that put them at risk for witnessing and directly experiencing trauma, which can lead to PTSD. Predominantly male career fields like law enforcement, fire fighting, emergency medical response, and military service can all put men at greater risk for PTSD. For this reason, many men who schedule therapy work with counselors to process past traumatic experiences and the ongoing effects of trauma on their daily lives.

Interested in Starting Therapy?

Whether one of these common reasons that men seek therapy has resonated with you or you’ve been considering it for a while and finally feel ready, the LMV Counseling team is here to support you. When you’re ready, let’s get started. Get started now.