Medically reviewed by Katelyn Hagerty, FNP
Written by Our Editorial Team
Last updated 10/7/2022
For many people, admitting you need help is no easy feat. This can be especially true for men, who are often taught that masculinity is tied to handling things on your own and not talking about your feelings.
But we are here to tell you that asking for help and talking about your feelings have nothing to do with masculinity. In fact, these two things are something all people — regardless of gender — should be doing. Here’s why: Sharing your feelings and getting help when you need it can greatly improve your quality of life and make you a healthier, happier person. Who doesn’t want that?
One thing that can make it even easier to talk about your feelings is therapy. See, in therapy, anything you say is confidential and you have the privacy to really explore what’s going on in your life. You will also be able to work with a professional to figure out ways to process and navigate your emotions.
Want to understand the benefits of therapy for men and what it entails? We’ve got you covered.
Listen up, therapy is for everyone — yes, even you! People of all genders, ethnicities and backgrounds can benefit from it. Oh, and you don’t have to be experiencing extreme mental health issues or even be dealing with something like a depressed mood or anxiety to have a positive experience with psychotherapy. That said, if you are experiencing those things, therapy is a very important treatment tool.
Need more convincing that men can benefit from therapy? The National Institute of Mental Health finds that therapy can be very helpful for people who are:
Navigating stress, and um, who doesn’t have stress in their life at some point?
Dealing with symptoms of depression or other mental health issues like sleep issues, fluctuation in mood, zero energy with no physical reason or loss of appetite
Having issues with focus
Stress from life situations or changes, like a breakup, death in the family or work issues
Feeling sad or overwhelmed
One of the most common reasons men may seek out therapy is depression. Signs of depression include prolonged sadness, lack of energy, a depressed mood or fluctuation in mood and constant stress. If you notice any of these things, it’s a good idea to seek out mental health treatment. A healthcare professional can help make a recommendation as to the underlying cause of these symptoms and find the best treatment for you.
Anxiety around finances and work can also be a reason to see what mental health professionals have to offer — especially for older men, as you may be approaching retirement age.
But, remember, depression, anxiety and other mental health issues aren’t the only reasons for therapy. It can truly be helpful for anyone or anything — think of it as a way to get your thoughts and emotions out in a way that helps you process them.
Anytime you try something new, it can be a little nerve-wracking. But knowing what to expect when you enter therapy can help.
Talk therapy is a process intended to help you deal with psychological issues — or even just sort through things going on in your life that can be causing issues — and live a happier life. In therapy, you’ll work with a trained professional who specializes in a particular type of therapeutic process.
There are many different types of therapy, which use different processes to help guide you and may focus on slightly different aspects of a problem. Some of the types of therapy you may hear about are:
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT): One of the most common forms of therapy, this type revolves around identifying patterns and behaviors that may not be helpful to you and coming up with a way to adjust those things.
Dialectical behavior therapy: Though DBT was initially used for people with borderline personality disorder, it can also be an effective way to treat anxiety.
Interpersonal therapy: Need help navigating the relationships in your life? In this type of therapy, you will focus on interpersonal issues and how you relate to others.
Psychodynamic therapy: By doing lots of reflection about yourself, your emotions, your interpersonal relationships and more, you’ll try to resolve and make peace with past issues that still give you trouble.
Finding a therapist who you feel comfortable with and is a good match for you is one of the most important steps in going to therapy. Know that you are allowed to interview people before you start seeing someone regularly. If you’re comfortable, ask friends for a referral or consult a doctor you trust — they may be able to point you in the direction of someone who could be a good fit. Other places to look include your insurance’s website or Psychology Today’s Find a Therapist tool.
As you search, think about what type of person makes you feel most at ease. Will you be able to open up more to another man? Or maybe you think a female provider might be more nurturing and would prefer that? What about age? Do you want someone older or younger? Some people also feel more comfortable with a therapist who has the same ethnic background as them.
Once you find a therapist, it’s time to set up your first appointment. Some therapists meet in person, while others will meet with you virtually.
Regardless of how you meet, you should prepare to give some background information on yourself. Your therapist may ask what made you want to start therapy, what you do for fun, what your job is and other details that can help them get to know you.
From there, the therapist may explain how they work — like how long sessions are, what they try to accomplish, what their cancellation policy is, etc.
You can always ask questions or bring up things you’d like to talk about.
In general, the first appointment is mostly about getting to know one another before you start digging into the things you’d like to work on in therapy.
Therapy is a mental health treatment that can help you deal with any life issues or mental health conditions and inspire you to live a healthier, happier life.
While some men may think therapy is not for them, the truth is that it can help anyone. Whether you are old or young, male or female, therapy can have beneficial effects.
You do not need to have a diagnosed mental illness to engage in therapy. Sure, it can help with depression, anxiety and other mental illnesses, but it can also just be a place you go to process how you are feeling or focus on goals you want to accomplish.
If you are interested in exploring therapy, Hims offers online consultations.