Some men have searched for some thoughts on a situation and weren’t coming up with much in terms of a solution. “I’ve got a bit of a war within and would appreciate some level-headed recommendations.”
Other men have built a life they love on a foundation of lies. It’s become increasingly difficult to manage both. They lie to their lies and they lie to their loves.
I often hear the biggest barrier for men to seeing a therapist, is themselves.
They second-guess themselves because they’re successful and had to deal with issues on their own to get to where they are. They think they’re the type of man who couldn’t benefit from counseling. They’ve had mentors but not someone to help them through internal challenges. They say they always had self-doubts but an intense desire to prove themselves to others.
Others are exhausted from trying to be stronger than they feel.
Some call me saying they feel trapped and don’t see a way out of their situation. They have so much they want to accomplish with their relationship, but they’re stuck.
Many men have multiple issues. Stress, erectile dysfunction, pre-mature ejaculation, unfaithful or disconnected partners. They turn that on themselves and say they want to be able to love themselves again and connect with their partners.
Other men want a neutral person to give them feedback whether to stay in their relationship or not. They want to do all they can, so that if the relationship ends, they leave it with a clear conscience.
Men describe feeling whole-body tension, like they were just about to get into a fight, a fight with their mind.
Many have anger problems.
They feel out of control and get to a point where even the littlest thing sets them off. They want to get past that so they can see their situation clearer.
Then there are guys who are skeptical but they call because they’re in a free fall that has pushed them through their skepticism.
Some have tried different things and it wasn’t working. They came in feeling hopeless and angry, wondering if therapy would work.
A few called me because they were blindsided by their partner wanting an open marriage.
Others are interested in exploring ways to improve their general happiness and outlook on life. They were also looking for tools to use to help improve their relationship with their spouse.
Some were working through anxiety, depression, worry and control of alcohol, to a degree, and it wasn’t going well. It was affecting their relationship, increasing their drinking and decreasing their ability to concentrate at work.
Many have been to counseling in the past and in a previous relationship. But, that didn’t address some baggage from their past.
Men report rarely being content and peace is always just one step ahead.
Others doubt their success and always make things difficult for themselves. They can’t concentrate on what they need to accomplish and can’t get past their past. They want to figure out what is going on and what they can do about it.
In addition, some men are in high conflict relationships. They don’t want to divorce their partners and they’re determined to stay in the relationship for various reasons.
These men want to learn how to get what they want in spite of their situation. They want to work through their frustration without sharing their personal lives with family or friends.
Anxiety is a very common reason men see me.
They say they’ve been anxious ever since they can remember. They’re at a perfect storm in their lives.
Some guys want to get control of their anger so they can focus clearly on what they want to deal with.
Some men have been in an affair for a while and were considering asking for a divorce. They were in a cloud of guilt and couldn’t think straight. It was affecting their sleep, appetite, work and other relationships. They wanted to know what it was about them that was causing their behavior and questioning their marriage, their life and themselves.
Men have made some hard, thought-out decisions. They’ve made their way through and reached a satisfaction and peace about their final decision.
After making their choices, they were stronger to move towards even greater resolution.
Men have told me it was more than they could have imagined. They hoped it wasn’t too late now to repair any damage they’ve done because of where they were before.
The majority of the men feel confident in using the skills they learned. They make sense of what happened to them after so long of a time of just enduring and self-medicating.
Some men’s partners still left them. Counseling helped them to prepare for it and keep some level of consistency in their lives afterward.
Still others recognized how working through their ambivalence made them sharper, more focused and able to do the heavy lifting.
All men valued taking control of their situation.
They made time to focus on their own needs and personal growth.
These men didn’t expect a miracle but they did (and are doing) the work to resolve apparent and hidden issues.
All these men are successful, smart and committed.
Overall, the challenge is about your relationship with yourself.
It’s about how that’s playing out in your life and doing something about it.
You’re The Expert On Yourself.
I’m A Resource.
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Best of The Best Finalist, Men’s Health