After decades spent suffering from clichés and stigmas of all kinds, psychotherapy today seems to be well-accepted by society. In appearance, at least. Since there is still a large section of the population for whom mental health issues remain desperately taboo: adult men. If most of them willingly accept that their spouses and female relatives share their problems with psychologists, they find it difficult to take the plunge. Proof of weakness, lack of virility, and clichés die hard. They, too, can benefit from an external perspective, especially since they are encouraged to keep it quiet. Which only multiplies the harmful consequences of these moments of down. So, how do you convince a man to consult?
Find Other Men Who Have Consulted A Psychologist.
The major problem with psychotherapy for men is that these gentlemen still see consulting as evidence of weakness. Having moments of weakness is nothing to be ashamed of, and everyone goes through it in their lifetime. Unfortunately, the collective unconscious still considers this weakness as a defect to be concealed at all costs. Acceptable for women certainly, but not for men. Fortunately, more and more of them understand that these stereotypes are not only archaic but that they are also dangerous. Indeed, because of this taboo, the suicide rate is almost three times higher among men than among women.
There are probably men around you who have taken the plunge. They have not lost their virility, however. These men could therefore intervene with your loved one to explain the process but, above all, the daily benefits of online or in-office psychotherapy.
Give It Time And Offer Information.
Man or woman, between the moment when we notice that our mental health is not in good shape and the moment when we decide to consult, there is always a period of progress and acceptance. It takes time to realize that we are not well. Factually mention his difficulties, and the possibility of consulting, without inciting or forcing. Even if this may seem unfair to you, and it often adds to an already existing mental load for companions and loved ones, do not hesitate to carry out research. Contact details of professionals (find several, so he can make his choice), studies publishing the positive effects of psychotherapy (online or in the office) for men. Share this information with him without doing the steps for him unless he asks you to, of course.
You can also suggest that he begin by discussing his difficulties with his attending physician. Or any healthcare professional he trusts. They are authorized to act in an emergency situation and to provide advice. If he hears them from the mouth of a competent authority, he may more easily agree to seek the necessary help.
Let Him Choose The Psychotherapy And The Psychologist That Suits Him.
The patient must be able to choose who he addresses and how he wants to be treated. However, faced with a closed and lost man, one can be tempted to take the steps and manage everything. However, the process of psychological care implies that one is motivated and that one participates actively in his recovery. And it starts with making your own decisions. Or at least that we clearly ask for help from those around us. If you take care of everything, your loved one will arrive at their first session without having had time to walk. He will wonder what he is doing there. At best, it will not be receptive; at worst, it will be permanently closed.
In addition, there are many types of therapy and as many professional profiles. What suits you, or seems interesting to you, is not necessarily what will resonate with him. Type of psychotherapy, current of the psychologist, frequency of sessions, configuration (face-to-face, online, or asynchronously). It is up to him to choose among the many choices at his disposal.
If he is still resistant to traditional therapy, distance psychotherapy may prove to be an excellent option. He will be able to discuss at his own pace and from the comfort of his home without facing the inquisitive looks in the waiting room (probably imagined). If he is more comfortable in writing, he will be able to express himself in this way. Or just talk when he feels the need.
Start Group Therapy
As a family or as a couple, group therapies bring together several people around the psychologist in the office or online. This allows the man who needs to consult to be reassured. And suppose the latter is still too imbued with gender stereotypes. In that case, he can take advantage of the sessions while arranging with his conscience, on the pretext that he does not consult himself and is content to accompany his partner or a member of his family.
Eventually, this mode of therapy should give him the desire and the courage to go it alone.
If you are at a loss when faced with a man around you who is suffering, do not hesitate to consult a psychologist to see more clearly and explore all your options.
Dr. Wendy M. O’Connor is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with a private practice in Los Angeles, California. If you are looking for a Psychotherapist in Los Angeles, visit The Traffic Light Center website for more information.