Male Specific Issues
Because, as Tyger Latham Psy.D. noted in Psychology Today, put it
Most men don’t spend a lot of time thinking about what it means to them to be a man. That’s because in our society, being a man is an advantage, one that does not often invite self-reflection.
Therapy involves self-reflection, something few men are comfortable with. What is self-reflection?
Self-reflection is unique to humans. It is the process of looking inward to the seat of motivation with a view to understanding what drives our actions. Self-reflection is useful in learning how to change behaviors which do not produce the results we want.
Charlie and Self-Reflection
While the scene plays out in a very humorous way, it also highlights a key element in helping with male-specific issues.
The guy who first walked into this office was a happy-go-lucky, fully-functioning manwhore and I want him back.
How was this a problem to him?
Now she knows I love her. The whole balance of power is off.
To which his therapist asked,
Why do you look at relationships as a power struggle?
The Masculine View
Society too tends to infuse men with various beliefs which may or may not be helpful in modern society. At times, the beliefs or values men develop do not serve them well.
This is where professional counseling helps.
Erroneous social expectations often pressure men to confront life’s problems alone, as if seeking treatment is admitting weakness or defeat.
Nothing could be further from the truth, yet as a result of these messages, men are less inclined to seek help.
What are Male Specific Issues?
Societal values often say one thing, nature dictates another and corporate cultures or company values often express something entirely different. Adding to the confusion, research now indicates that changing the traditional view of masculinity results in multiple health benefits.
How is a guy to know which way is up?
Frankly, learning to find balance between these conflicting values is not easy: This is one key goal of male-specific therapy.
Following are some of the male-specific issues which men commonly face:
Often, men turn to medications like Viagra or Cialis, but research shows that doing so can result in more harm than good.
In any case, impotence usually causes a man to feel like less of a man. And while this is natural, it need not remain the defining focus of a man for the rest of his life. In fact, many cases of sexual dysfunction disappear with therapy.
When failure to achieve success as defined by others becomes a problem, some men even turn to substances or harmful activities.
One study found that even when female spouses earned 40% of the household income, the male spouse experienced increased stress.
The explosion is usually directed at someone they love, someone they feel safe unloading on.
This, in turn results in strained relationships which cause further emotional stress, further bottling up of the emotions. It is a cycle many men find difficult to stop even when they know they should.
The underlying cause of emotional detachment is usually trauma or abuse, often in early ages. Without professional counseling, few men ever break the patterns which prevent them from being as happy as they would like
For instance, if the competition is carried out with a view to simply tearing others down, considerable harm can result. Men who strive to better themselves through competition are often happy, satisfied.
But men who compete for the purpose of undercutting others do so for reasons that prevent internal satisfaction. This is indicative or deep-seated issues which require professional counseling to overcome.
Male gender role conflict is different. This refers to the difficulties men often have with understanding how their roles as men in society may conflict with what they have been taught.
Many men have difficulty with changing social views imposed on males. This is normal. At times, popular culture sends mixed messages, which further adds to the difficulty of some to know what is the best course of action.
Though not all males. Some tend to be less aggressive.
Yet, whether a man is overly aggressive or underly so, this is a common area of concern. Much depends on circumstances and career. Some career choices require aggression, others not so much.
Whether the level of aggression a man displays is a problem or not is a very individual matter. If it is a problem and needs to change, professional counseling can help.
That said, substance abuse is a very individual matter with the exact reasons differing from person to person. Click here to learn about substance abuse therapy at Lev Counseling.
In fact, learning to better control anger provides numerous health benefits because anger has been linked to high blood pressure and stroke, headaches, digestive disorders, even skin problems.
Whatever the reason, many professional males today are striving to create greater balance between their career and their personal lives. As Forbes pointed out, fathers consistently report higher stress levels than mothers, but finding a good work-life balance benefits the entire family.
Learn more about Anxiety treatments here.
In part, the issue may stem from the different methods of communication among men and women regarding sex or from the different approach the sexes take to dating.
Regardless of the reasons, this is an issue which is resulting in higher levels of stress among many males. Some studies indicate that men who have the most difficulty dealing with this issue often have underlying psychological issues to address.
Whether this is the case or not, professional counseling can help men struggling with such issues.
Need Help Guys?
At Lev Counseling, I offer a fun, relaxed atmosphere in which you can chat openly about any issue. I will not sugarcoat anything nor lie to you, but will always listen and offer the best advice possible for your situation. I can help you through whatever it is you need to get through.
If you would like to chat, give me a call now at (312) 899-1120.