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Men's Counseling

As a Man, Do You Feel You Are Often Misunderstood by Others? 

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Does it sometimes make you uncomfortable to talk about your problems? When you talk about your feelings, are you told you’re not doing it right? Do you often feel frustrated and wish you knew how to better control your anger? Are you confused about how to be a good husband and/or how to be a good dad? Perhaps drinking or watching porn provides a sense of relief, and although you’ve tried to cut back, you can’t do it on your own. Maybe you wonder if you’re having a midlife crisis because you’re struggling to find that zest for life that used to come so naturally. Do you ever wish things were more harmonious with your partner, coworkers, family members or friends? Would you like to learn how to build self-confidence, feel less depressed and/or get through a day without acting out in anger?

Have you ever been told that your way of being is unhealthy, self-centered or just not right?

Many Men Struggle With These Problems, But Never Seek Help

Our society characterizes men as less feeling and more emotionally remote than women. While there may some truth to this, it doesn’t mean we lack feelings about events in our lives or that we don’t care about our relationships – we just tend to disclose less of what’s going on beneath the surface. Many men struggle secretly with frustration, emotional detachment and low self-esteem. This is the dark legacy of the “Guy’s Code,” bequeathed to us by the important male figures in our lives. 

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We all know the "Guy’s Code", right? This is the idea that it is unmanly, weak and feminine to express pain. From an early age, you learn quickly that exposing too many of your innermost feelings to other boys can result in ridicule, loss of respect and rejection from the circle of men. For most boys, keeping your intimate feelings inside does not end with the onset of adulthood. As adults, strict adherence to this way of relating can be a matter of pride, associated with a sense of independence and competence as a man. However, for many men, overreliance on this mode of operating can make it difficult or even impossible to express emotions in any mode other than anger, aggression or an air of detachment. Over time, such a limited repertoire of emotional responses can lead to a sense of isolation and feelings of emotional detachment – even from those closest to us. 

The Biological Reasons Why Men and Women Operate Differently 

Male and female hormones calibrate men and women to seek and receive different life experiences. Do you ever wonder why women often seem energized by what appears to be a difficult conversation? Part of the explanation is that women are actually rewarded with higher doses of the feel-good hormone oxytocin when expressing their thoughts and feelings. Lacking such a hormonal bump for motivation, men tend not to seek outlets to express their feelings, so things tend to get bottled up inside. And, like a bottle of soda that gets shaken, men tend to explode when the cap is taken off. 

Men’s higher testosterone levels account for another important difference in how men and women operate in the world. On a good day, testosterone can heighten our sense of competition and spark creativity. However, higher levels of the hormone can also cause us to react negatively when we feel disrespected or blocked by others. As a result, men are often left at a low simmer of frustration at home and at work. Living with a perpetual sense of frustration can lead angry eruptions and an ongoing sense of hopelessness. 

Men’s Counseling Offers a Different Treatment Approach

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Men and women generally operate differently in the world, and many therapeutic approaches were designed with a bias toward women’s experiences and manners of relating. In contrast, I do not treat men’s counseling and health as a sideline in my practice. I am solely focused on helping men express themselves in their own, unique ways, so they can feel better about themselves and their lives. Many of the individuals who come to my practice have been repeatedly criticized for being too analytical and focused on problem solving which leads to the detriment of expressing their feelings. I think those who take that position are missing the boat. It’s critical that a therapist be attuned to the language of men in order to truly have a chance of helping them. I understand how to decode the language and experience of men to help you better cope with your feelings of anger, low self-esteem and depression.

I provide a safe, judgment-free space where you can slow down and become clearer about where you are headed in life. I understand that men often say a lot with just a few words. It’s not always about the quantity of what you have to say, but rather the quality. As a skilled, experienced therapist, I can help you feel comfortable taking the lead in expressing – or not expressing – what feels natural for you. 

It really is possible to improve your relationships and communicate more effectively with the people you care about most. In counseling for men’s issues, I can help you implement anger management techniques to help control your anger, calm testosterone fueled episodes and redirect your aggressive impulses into healthier channels. Whether you are struggling with alcohol issues, porn addiction, depression, loneliness or another issue interrupting your ability to live the life you want, there is a way back. Many of the men I work with report feeling less constricted by their emotions and more fully empowered to manage their daily frustrations. Through men’s counseling, you, too, can feel more in control of your life. 

You may have questions or concerns about counseling for men

What exactly happens in these therapy sessions for men? 

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Unlike what you may have seen in movies, there’s no lying down on a couch. We sit facing each other, and talk. I am an active participant in treatment and assist with ongoing feedback and real time strategies to address your concerns. During early sessions, I will work to gain a thorough understanding of your particular experience, including important figures in your life, both past and present. All of us are profoundly affected by key life experiences that shape our understanding of ourselves and influence our world-view. Sometimes, exploring the past can be uncomfortable, but rest assured that with a trusted guide who takes things at your pace, it gets easier. Throughout treatment, we will set achievable goals and work toward them together. 

How is talking about my problems going to help? 

Men’s therapy is more than simply venting about problems and offloading feelings. It also involves trying new things outside of the office to see how they feel. I have found that real life change occurs not only when we try to think differently, but also when we have different experiences – typically with others – in our day-to-day lives. Changing how you feel involves trying new things in your existing relationships – such as those with romantic partners, coworkers and friends – and sometimes developing new relationships. As we work together, you can enact real, positive change in all areas of your life.

I’ve tried therapy before and I didn’t really notice any changes in myself. 

It really frustrates me when I hear people say past treatments didn’t help. That isn’t your fault. Perhaps your former therapist was not well-versed in counseling for men. From our first session together, you and I will establish a dialogue about what is and isn’t working in your life and begin to establish goals and track progress. Some problems run deeper than others, and we’ll break our interventions into manageable pieces to keep you moving forward. This is something we will discuss together on an ongoing basis. If therapy is feeling like a mystery to you, then I’m not doing my job. I am dedicated to developing a treatment strategy that works for you, every step of the way. 

Men’s Counseling Can Bring You Real, Tangible Results 

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The men I work with often report that therapy helps them find the clarity and tools necessary to meet their needs so they can feel less alone and less frustrated with life. I utilize proven methods to help men learn how to improve self-confidence; reduce feelings of depression, stress and anger; and work through other pressing issues. Contact me now to learn more about how we can work together to help you break through in a way that feels natural to your own experience. I’d like to hear your story.

Let’s talk about how I can help you make a positive change. Call me now at 415-350-9611 for a completely confidential phone intake. If you are not comfortable talking on the phone, you can email me at timlewispsyd@gmail.com. 

  


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