Psychotherapy for Men
You’ve suddenly found yourself in the World Series of feelings, and you have no idea what to do with them.
As a man, you grew up learning not to express vulnerability. From the earliest ages you were taught not to cry, to resolve conflict with physical violence and aggression, and not to show affection to other men. You played with soldiers and trucks and superheroes, guns and violent video games.
If you’re sensitive, especially a highly sensitive man, you were likely shamed. Perhaps even called the worst words of all: a “pussy” or a “faggot.” In American culture, and many others, men are taught to be the opposite of anything associated with femininity. Along with straight up homophobia, misogyny (a hatred of women) may have made its way into your unconscious and is wreaking havoc on your relationships, your self-esteem, your behavior, and your ability to experience real intimacy.
Right now, politically, socially, and with the me-too movement, you may be feeling guilt and shame and anger and denial. You were taught what it meant to be a man, and now you’re being told that you’re a threat. Taking responsibility for harming others is extremely important, but so is having compassion for yourself and the ways you may have been harmed by a hyper-masculine culture.
Confronting Versus Avoiding
Because most men have learned to resolve conflict with physical violence, it can be impossible to know any other way of expressing your feelings. Tears were unacceptable – perhaps even dangerous. In this kind of environment, without the opportunities to safely show emotion, many people disconnect from emotions all together. You may be using mind-altering substances, food, sex, and power to feel better; to manage what you’re feeling inside, but it’s a vicious cycle and nothing ever really gets resolved that way. Not to mention what it does to your relationships. So you avoid. You avoid feeling. You avoid vulnerability. You avoid real emotional intimacy, and then you just feel empty and alone, and then you fill that void with a substance or a distraction and the cycle continues. It’s no way to live.
What Therapy Can Offer
Not only can you begin to discover what you are feeling in therapy, but also why, and how to manage those feelings. You may start to feel alive, open and connected on a level you never have before. It can be uncomfortable and scary at first, but the reward lasts a lifetime. You can learn to resolve conflict through conversation without defensiveness or avoidance. You can learn that it’s okay, even preferable, to have emotional intimacy in your life. Your relationships can deepen and improve because you know how to feel and express your emotions and needs. You can heal and feel and thrive, forgive yourself, and truly live in alignment with your heart. Contact me today to begin the journey to uncovering your authentic self.