Young man in backpack in front of water practicing self-reflection.
Young man in backpack in front of water practicing self-reflection.

THERAPY FOR MEN

Therapy for Men in New York City

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What Does "Therapy for Men" Mean?
Being a Man Today

The category of “men’s therapy” is a bit confusing. It includes issues that are (obviously) specific to men, such as fatherhood, masculinity, or expectations of being a man.

And it also includes other topics that aren’t necessarily exclusive to men, but are better understood through the lens of how you experience them as a man. For example, anyone can go through financial anxiety, intimacy issues, or low self-esteem, but as a man, they may impact you differently than how they would impact a woman.

Discussing men’s issues isn’t to detract from or diminish the recognition of women’s issues, but rather to acknowledge the fact that everyone can face unique challenges based on gender. Many men’s issues are silenced or suppressed, a result of cultural expectations that have never exactly encouraged men to open up about their feelings.

Plus, the patriarchal structure of our society gives men a certain amount of power and privilege. It can feel awkward discussing issues specific to masculinity and maleness in such a context, but this is precisely why it’s so important to do so.

Therapy is a space for us to put aside the script of how we’re supposed to feel or how we’re supposed to handle conflict, and give voice to what we’re actually going through.

A young man in reflection, looking at neon light
A young man in reflection, looking at neon light
Kinds of Men’s Issues

So what are you going through? While no two people experience the same issues in the same way, there are a few broad categories of challenges that most men can identify with.

Emotions are complicated because, by definition, they don’t follow logic. Many men identify as practical, solutions-oriented people (perhaps due to societal expectations of being protectors and breadwinners) and this sometimes butts heads with understanding our emotional sides.

When something happens and you find yourself confused about why you’re feeling the way you’re feeling, that’s a good sign to examine what’s happening inside of you instead of automatically trying to solve the problem on the outside.

Managing emotions and stress
Strengthening communication and connection

If you’re not sure what you’re feeling and why, you’re definitely not going to be able to tell somebody else what’s going on. And just because you can tough it out on your own, that doesn’t mean you have to. That will most likely just leave you feeling more isolated and misunderstood.

Communicating what you want and need allows other people to see you as you see yourself. You will build stronger, more authentic connections with friends, family, coworkers, and partners and feel less resentment overall.

Navigating romantic relationships and intimacy

Oftentimes, we have the most trouble connecting with the people we feel closest to. Whether you’re trying to figure out if your significant other is “the one,” dealing with the loss of a breakup, or feeling discouraged after going on an endless string of unsuccessful first dates, self-reflection can help you gain clarity on those ties holding you back.

By better understanding yourself, you can better understand how others experience you–whether it’s in a conversation or a lifetime together.

Addressing anger and aggression

While boys and men are often socialized to avoid showing emotion, anger is usually one of the few emotions that’s actually “acceptable.” This cuts down our entire range of emotional expression to only those feelings that allow us to stay within the predefined boundaries of masculinity.

It makes anger and aggression the most accessible feelings, so they can become a default way of expressing yourself. But in reality, they’re only masking the much more complicated, subtle feelings inside of you.

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What Does it Look Like to Discuss Men’s Issues in Therapy?

Well, that depends. There are aspects of therapy that are specific to the issues you’re facing, how you’d like to work, and perhaps more importantly, what works best for you to see real growth.

And there are aspects that are constant. There are no judgments here. There is no way to “fail” therapy and if you’re not ready to talk about something, that’s OK.

Maybe we’ll get to it down the line. The only thing you need to do is bring yourself and every part of yourself. The more work you put into therapy, the more growth you’ll be able to see.

And when it’s hard to see the progress you’ve made, or you’re unsure which direction to go in, I’m always here to give you a nudge.

Ready to Start Therapy for Men?

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