Clear Haven Therapy Resources & Blog

The Importance of Therapy for Men: Exploring its Impact

Regardless of gender, anyone can be affected by mental health issues.

Regardless of gender, anyone can be affected by mental health issues. However, fewer men are still seeking therapy; let’s examine why this is the case.

It is a fact that men experience the same challenges as women, including anxiety, depression, relationship issues, and trauma. However, these issues can present differently for men. For example, depression may show as anger due to men tending to suppress emotions. Suppressed emotions contribute to mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, and stress.

Physical issues, such as headaches, digestive problems, and muscle tension, can also result from suppressed emotions.  A 2019 study concludes that concealing one’s emotions can hinder mental health, physical health and general well-being.

Case Study

I recently worked with a client who contacted me due to struggling with social anxiety and low self-esteem. We worked together for six weeks, and at the end of this time, the client left therapy knowing their worth which changed everything for them.

The client opted for an RTT hypnotherapy session; during regression, they returned to an incident that occurred at school when they were aged 8. They spoke about a time they could not answer a question in front of the class; they felt shamed and humiliated before their teacher and peers. The incident left the client feeling profoundly embarrassed and feeling like a failure. After the session, the client spoke about vaguely remembering the incident and feeling embarrassed whenever they thought about it. However, they did not recognise that what they experienced then deeply continued to influence how they felt about themselves today, which was that they were not good enough.

Working through the emotions associated with this experience and reframing outdated beliefs was life-transforming for this client.

Therapy for Men – The Statistics

It is not unusual for men to mask the symptoms of depression as they will take an “I just need to get on with it” approach. However, this can encourage unhealthy coping mechanisms such as drinking alcohol, substance misuse, pornography addiction, or gambling.

When these unhelpful coping strategies become “the problem”, men will recognise they need help, and at this point, their mental health may have declined significantly.

Statistics demonstrate that men’s mental health is something that requires more attention.

  •  The Office of National Statistics (ONS) 2021 states that 74% of death by suicide cases are men.
  •  In England and Wales, suicide is the most significant cause of death for men under 50.
  •  The Institute of Alcohol Studies (IAS) 2020,  men of all ages are likelier to become alcohol dependent than women.
  •  Men are more likely to be experiencing homelessness and be rough sleepers, and at the end of 2022, 96.2% of all prisoners were men.
  • NHS England’s Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) states that in 2019/20 it recorded 65% of women,   compared to 35% of men, were referred to psychological services.

These statistics highlight the need to change society’s perception of men seeking therapy.

Why Some Men Struggle to Seek Help: Understanding the Barriers of Therapy for Men

Let’s consider WHY some men find it difficult to seek therapy.

Societal Gender Norms
Society has thoughts about how men should be – “strong, self-reliant, assertive, powerful”. These expectations can make it more challenging for men to reach out for support and instead mask or suppress any symptoms that suggest they are not coping.

If a man has adopted unhealthy coping strategies, there may be guilt, shame, or self-disgust, making sharing this with another person even more difficult. However, reaching out for help is a sign of strength and courage, and in therapy, you can learn how to work through any shame attached to what is going on for you.

One significant roadblock that prevents men from seeking therapy is the stigma around mental health issues. As a society, we have the power to change this. It takes courage, but only when men talk about their mental health and talk about reaching out for therapy or other support will it become normalised. After all, you go to the gym to work on your physical health; working on your mental health is the same!

Fear of Vulnerability
What would it look like to reveal a side of yourself that isn’t always confident, courageous, and strong? Vulnerability is sharing your thoughts, emotions, feelings, and experiences with another person. It is like removing your armour and allowing another person to see your authentic self, your softer side. Allowing yourself to be vulnerable with those closest to you can deepen and strengthen relationships.

Finding a Therapist
The gender of a therapist is not important; you must find a therapist you feel safe and comfortable with. I work with many men in my therapy practice, and I recommend that you check if a therapist is comfortable working with male-related issues.

Let’s Now Discuss the Advantages of Therapy for Men

Therapy offers men a safe space to openly discuss their concerns and express themselves freely without fear of rejection.

In therapy, men can learn how to practice healthy coping strategies such as emotional regulation, meditation, grounding exercises, journalling, assertive communication, and implementing boundaries.

A therapist allows men the space to manage past issues that may impact their lives today.

Alternatively, some men prefer to focus on what is happening for them in the here and now rather than revisit past experiences. What you would like to gain from therapy is something you can talk through during a discovery call as you want to ensure that a therapist works in a way that you will find most helpful.

  • Being a Good Example

By going to therapy, you convey to others, including your friends and family, that taking care of your mental health is FINE.

Being open and honest about seeking help could inspire others to adopt your outlook and encourage the growth of a society where discussing emotions can be done more freely.

  • Strengthening Relationships

Effectively managing emotions can help build healthy and fulfilling relationships.

People tend to have closer relationships with their loved ones, members of their families, and close friends when they are aware of their own emotions and can empathise with others.

  • Improves Job Performance

The workplace is known to be a place that can be challenging when one is already struggling with their mental health. Therapy can help reduce work-related stress and anxiety, improve job performance, and it can help with enhancing communication and teamwork skills.

When To Seek Therapy

If you have any of the following symptoms, it may be a good idea to consider therapy:

  • Been more easily irritated than usual.
  • Experienced bursts of anger or aggression.
  • Felt sad or down.
  • Felt overwhelmed or under much pressure.
  • Unexpectedly gained or lost weight.
  • Started drinking or using drugs more frequently than before.
  • Been relying on alcohol or drugs to cope with a challenging situation.
  • Lost interest in activities you used to enjoy.
  • Struggled to concentrate at work, school, or home.
  • Had more headaches or days of feeling generally unwell.
  • Sleeping too much or too little.
  • Felt tired even after a whole night’s sleep.

There’s no reason to feel ashamed of your symptoms; you’re never alone. Many men believe discussing their difficulties won’t help, but this is untrue. Book a free discovery call today.

Understanding Anger Management: Issues For Personal Growth

Why do I get so angry?

Humans naturally experience anger as a reaction to perceived threats, injustices, or irritations. In the face of anger, our bodies activate the fight or flight response, and a surge of stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol are released from the adrenal glands and flood through our bodies.

A sudden surge of hormones induces a whole host of physical bodily changes, such as an increased heart rate, excessive sweating, tense muscles, a headache, or a sudden need to use the toilet.

Anger can range from a feeling of mild irritation to full-blown rage. When people consider themselves to have anger management issues, typical terms often used to describe the feelings of anger are; I feel my blood boil, I go from 0 to 100 in less than a second, I see red, or I fly off the handle.

Typically, the thoughts, feelings, and bodily responses present so quickly that it is not unusual to believe that managing this is outwith your control. However, the good news is that this is not the case; with the correct techniques and strategies, you can learn how to overcome anger issues.

How we manage our anger can significantly impact our mental and physical health, so it is essential to address what is going on for you if you have anger issues; furthermore, anger can cause many problems with relationships, family, and work. You could get into altercations, resulting in problems with the Police.

The next time you ask yourself, ‘Why do I get so angry, ‘it might be worth considering some help. Looking at my other blogs, I have listed some self-help techniques that can be an excellent place to start. You can contact Clear Haven Therapy if you would benefit from a professional service.

Different ways of expressing anger

Passive Anger

Suppressing or rejecting rage-related sensations is considered passive-aggressive anger.

People can use subtle behaviours like silent treatment, sarcasm, or passive-aggressive statements instead of overt displays of rage.

Passive Aggressive anger frequently shows itself subtly and indirectly; passive rage can be difficult to identify.

Chronic Anger

A long-lasting state of rage, when people continually feel angry and resentful, is called chronic anger.

Unresolved problems, ongoing pressures, or a gloomy view of life might all be the cause.

One’s general well-being, interpersonal connections, and quality of life are all affected by persistent anger.

Self-Inflicted Anger

Rage aimed toward oneself is known as self-inflicted or self-directed anger. Emotions including self-blame, self-criticism, shame, guilt, or unworthiness characterise self-inflicted anger.

Self-Inflicted anger can lead to low self-esteem and other harmful behaviours.

Behavioural Anger

Aggressive and explosive behaviour is one way a person will express behavioural rage. These actions include yelling, abusive language, physical harm, or destruction of property.

Impulse control issues and difficulties in good anger management are shared by those who experience behavioural rage.

Constructive Anger

A person can express anger positively. Constructive anger encourages people to fight for change, speak out against injustices, and do other positive actions that advance society.

Effectively controlled, constructive rage may help you stand up for your beliefs, leading to positive change for yourself and others.

Typical bodily responses to anger

1. Increased heart rate and blood pressure

Anger ignites the fight-or-flight response, which also causes physiological changes, including a racing heart and raised blood pressure.

2. Muscle tension and clenched fists

Anger frequently causes muscles to tense up, particularly those in the shoulders, neck, and jaw. When a person is angry, they can clench their fists.

3. Irritability, restlessness, or a short temper

People who tend to be more readily irritated, easily agitated, and ready to respond aggressively or defensively. They can have a fuse that is shorter than typical.

4. Racing thoughts or difficulty concentrating

Anger may obscure judgment, making it challenging to focus, reason through decisions, or have effective conversations.

5. Sweating and flushed face

Anger causes an increase in blood pressure, and this can show when a person sweats or has a flushed face.

6. Elevated levels of stress or anxiety

Anger can cause a person to feel stressed and worried, which can harm one’s mental and emotional health.

7. Difficulty sleeping or insomnia

It may be difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep all night due to anger distorting sleep patterns.

Physical Exercise can help you to release anger, and it is good for your overall mental health.

Exploring how to overcome anger

1. Deep breathing and relaxation techniques

Breathing deeply and slowly can improve the body’s relaxation response when anger is present.

2. Identify triggers

Anger may be managed or avoided by developing coping mechanisms for the particular people, things, or circumstances that set it off.

It could entail creating clear boundaries, developing constructive communication techniques, or changing one’s way of life to cope with the press.

3. Communication and assertiveness

Anger may be controlled by assertively and respectfully expressing feelings and concerns. To effectively communicate, one must actively listen to others, convey emotions using “I” statements, and look for compromises or solutions that satisfy everyone’s requirements.

4. Cognitive restructuring

Negative thinking patterns and ideas can serve as fuel for anger. One can use cognitive restructuring strategies to question and reframe these unhelpful thoughts.

Reframing these thoughts involves:

  • Putting one’s preconceptions under investigation.
  • Looking for alternate answers.
  • Adopting a more logical and impartial viewpoint.

5. Physical activity

Regular physical activity like running, yoga, or martial arts may help you release anger and improve your overall health. Endorphins are naturally occurring mood enhancers released during physical Exercise and can help lower stress and tension.

6. Seeking professional help

If anger continues to impact everyday living, it may be time to seek professional help from a counsellor or hypnotherapist who specialises in working with anger management issues. Here’s an anger management manual for you.

Book a free discovery call to find out how Clear Haven Therapy can help you resolve your Anger Management Issues.

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The free 20 minute discovery call provides an opportunity for us to connect, understand your unique situation, and determine the most effective approach to support your well-being.