Men often enter treatment and discover that, in addition to the nuances that created the mental health concern that brought them to therapy, their experience as a male compromised their ability to live to the greatest of their potential. Issues that have impacts on men’s mental health are not always readily visible or often discussed within the dominant culture. This parallels one of most common issues that men face, which is the learned behavior of ignoring and/or failing to express emotions. Many men find themselves confused about why they feel irritable, dissatisfied, or empty. Often, these feelings are the result of bottled-up emotions that men have been taught not to experience, such as sadness. Men may even find that others around them model or reward more “masculine” expressions of emotions, including anger. This can leave little room for the processing of the emotions and related thoughts that are causing one to feel sad in the first place. Expression of emotion is only one area that men may be hindered as a group. Other men find that society places certain expectations for their roles which do not align with their genuine interests and character traits. These are many other issues can be addressed in therapy. Through this process, one can begin redefining how someone wants to live their life on their own terms.
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