Men's Health Counselling
Men can suffer just as much from mental health, and yet rarely talk about it. Meeting with a Psychologist can really help.
What is 'Men's Health'?
Research on Men's Health has consistently reported a reluctance in men to seek help. For whatever reason, it appears clear that many men believe asking for help is a sign of weakness, or even failure, and as such, must be avoided at all costs.
Unfortunately, in times of stress, men may often suffer in silence, becoming more exhausted, more irritable, more anxious, more depressed, or a whole combination of those. In their attempts to cope, an increase in alcohol consumption is a common strategy in men with mental health issues.
In short, many behaviours we encourage in men and think 'typical' of men, get in the way of physical and emotional health.
How does a Psychologist treat Men's Health issues?
Treatment and counselling for men's health includes:
Providing men the opportunity to speak with a male psychologist
Challenging their long-held beliefs that seeking help is a sign of weakness or failure
Identifying their particular mental health concern and implementing the appropriate treatments, depending on the diagnosis, and;
Where appropriate, and permitted, including spouses in their treatment plan
Men's Health Counselling Case Study*
Matt was an engineer. His firm had recently been taken over by new management and a restructure had resulted in an increased workload. As with all challenges he faced, Matt believed that hard work would see him through, though after 8 months of it, Matt was almost always tired. He began to dread going to work to a job he previously enjoyed.
Like many men, Matt didn't want to worry his partner, so he kept his concerns to himself, even though he suspected they could see the changes in him. He was irritable, tired, snapped at the kids, and was keeping more to himself than usual.
In therapy, Matt and the psychologist identified that his coping strategy of 'just working harder' wasn't working in this instance. The psychologist challenged his belief about asking for help, and initially Matt was adamant that speaking to his boss or partner would only get him fired or add to his stress. As Matt learned more about Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, however, he was able to 'test' his belief about being sacked.
With prepared notes, Matt tested the waters with his boss, who surprisingly took his side. He too was aware of the extra stresses the restructure had brough and though he couldn't offer an 'answer', they agreed to meet weekly to check in on deadlines and how Matt was going.
A similar thing happened with Matt's wife, when one night he gave in and told her how he'd been feeling. She told him in return that he had her support, and that his silence had only adding to her - and their - stress in return. Though there was no immediate fix, over time Matt's depresssion lifted. He felt more supported, more heard. He made an agreement with himself that if things had not changed in another three months, for his mental health, he would look for another job.
* Case studies are based on common characteristics of many client examples. They do not refer to any one particular person. Any resemblance to actual persons is completely coincidental.
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