It’s a well-established statistical reality that most therapy sessions are initiated by women. It is also a well-established statistical reality that 70% of divorces are filed by women.  Why?  Because men have difficulty participating as emotional partners in their relationships. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Usually, men come to therapy only after a spouse/girlfriend pushes them to do so. Other times, their backs are against the wall and they’re facing divorce or estrangement, or – worst case scenario – they have no other option but therapy. They are mandated by the criminal justice system to go.

Men and therapy are not symbiotic terms. Men are socialized to avoid intimate contact. They typically restrain from expressing deep emotions. Men usually solve problems alone in the man cave.

Rule #1: Vulnerability should be avoided.

We train boys early to shake off the injury, to play through the pain, to shake off self-doubt and never, ever appear to be needy. Men don’t have “issues” and they sure don’t talk about them with other men. Men would rather have a beer and watch the game! (duh) Most men traditionally avoid therapeutic settings at all costs.

Unfortunately, this habit can be disastrous for men and for their relationships with families, spouses and children. Some common men’s issues – issues men typically face alone:

  • the ability to trust
  • a willingness to show vulnerability
  • fear of failure or fear of being exposed
  • shame – the secret certainty that you’re not all that
  • pride – shame’s haughty cousin
  • rage – expressed verbally, sexually or physically
  • abusive behavior
  • self-abusive behaviors such as drug, alcohol, gambling or pornography addictions
  • loneliness, difficulty making and keeping connections
  • fear of weakness
  • self-doubt – about self, career, relationships

These issues are common among men – and unfortunately, these issues are commonly faced alone.

So why should a man try therapy? Because it takes courage to address these issues. Men and their families can benefit immeasurably by putting the pride aside and asking for a little help.