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mindful masculinity

Therapy for Men

Hey, man.

 

Your partner isn't supposed to be your therapist.

Your friend isn't supposed to be your therapist.

Your co-worker isn't supposed to be your therapist.

Reading through endless subreddits and following social media influencer accounts isn't therapy, either.

You need an outlet where you can be vulnerable, speak freely, and unburden yourself without any fear of backlash that could burden your relationships.

You want a return on investment of the time, money, and energy that you put into therapy because that's what matters most - positive therapy outcomes.

You need a therapist who gets you because you deserve to build a life worth living.

This relationship needs to feel right, and you want a therapist who can join you through the truth, tell you like it is, and help you find the best tools for your toolbox along the way.

A part of you has been feeling curious about therapy for a while, and another part of you, The Inner Critic, says "Handle it on your own; be a man", trying to protect you. That's not a bad part, and in fact, there are no bad parts of you. It just needs to be seen, heard, and understood, and maybe it needs support in finding a new job or role instead of criticizing you so damn much.

You're actually taking responsibility by connecting with a therapist for support to start taking care for your mental health and wellness. It means that you're embracing the power of vulnerability and taking steps to modernize masculinity.

 

You are not your father. Many men don't typically seek mental health treatment. If they do, then they don't typically receive gender-specific care. Imagine working with an experienced therapist who's ready to be your Right Hand Therapy Man.

You've been told, "Don't cry or I'll give you something to cry about" as a boy and then you found it more difficult to express emotions later in life as you became a man.

Anger - you know anger because "Real men get mad".

Sexual Excitement & Lust - you know them too.

Sadness - it's always been there, but if you showed it, then boom - judgment. 

Fear - it's always been there too, but if you showed it, then boom - more harsh judgment.

You're tired of trying to prove that you are "man enough" because you already are enough.

Avoiding emotions and pretending to be fine can be exhausting, and potentially harmful to self and others.

All of that judgment came from someone and from somewhere in your life. Unfortunately, it's common.

Oppressive and repressive gender norms and expectations of patriarchal masculinity have been passed down from one generation to the next.

They found and took root within some parts of you that became your Inner Critic telling you what to do, how to feel, what not to do, how not to feel - how to be a man.

You've learned how to be the Macho Man, the Cool Guy, and the Sex Machine. Have you learned how to have empathy for other people ? Have you learned how to be vulnerable as an emotional and relational strength? Have you learned how to be accountable?

Funny thing is, there are countless other parts of you. However, many people may be quick to judge and police you and your beliefs, opinions, behaviors, emotions, lifestyle choices, and even your gender status whenever they think you're not being "man enough". You do it too.

We want to help, and we can understand why you'd rather avoid it. Slow down for a second. Breathe deeply. Mindful Masculinity starts with attention to your breath. 

Men are more likely to experience anger, stress, anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem when their manhood (i.e., "gender status") is called into question.

Inhibitory emotions like shame, guilt, and anxiety get in the way and get tangled up with our core emotions like anger, fear, sadness, disgust, joy, excitement, and sexual excitement. These are all natural, human emotions. Everyone has them regardless of their gender identity.

Frequently, we try to defend our Self somehow (e.g. depression) from all of the big, overwhelming emotions.

But, here's the problem - being stoic and unemotional, binge drinking booze, smoking and vaping nicotine, getting high, masturbating to pornography, sleeping it off, over-eating, over-working, over-exercising, stonewalling and withdrawing from others, and being tough - they're all examples of emotional avoidance, which actually creates additional, unintended stress.

Unfortunately, male avoidance of emotions is a common factor that contributes to internalized attacks against the Self (e.g., anxiety, depression, shame, negative self-image, etc.) and also externalized attacks toward other people (physical, sexual, and verbal aggression).

We can help you slow down, tune in, and sort things out.

Working with a mindful and inclusive therapist can give you the safe space, outlet & sounding board, and therapeutic support that you need to untangle all of your thoughts, emotions, and defense behaviors while we unburden the parts of you that need time and space to be seen, heard, and understood without judgment.

What are "Men's Issues"?

"Men's Issues" can generally be explained as anything effecting men. Really, it's that simple, even if the issues themselves may be complex. If you're a man, then you may need an experienced male therapist.

Verve Psychotherapy can help with that and more:

  • ADULT ADD/ADHD

    • Poor Concentration, Easily Distracted, Restlessness, Careless Mistakes

  • ADDICTIONS

    • Alcohol, Gambling, Pornography, Substances ​

  • ANGER MANAGEMENT

    • Anger, Frustration, Impulsivity, Irritability, Rage, Self-Control, Emotion Regulation, Distress Tolerance, Mindfulness, Interpersonal Skills

  • AVOIDANCE (OF)

    • Asking for Help, Conflict, Connection, Emotions, Intimacy, Honesty, Responsibility

  • GRIEF & LOSS

    • Bereavement, Divorce/Separation, Job Loss, Everyday Losses, COVID-19 Pandemic Stress, Life Transitions, Moving to a New City

  • FATHERHOOD

    • Presence, Co-Parenting, Single-Parenting, Providing, Learning How to Be a Dad

  • IMPOSTER SYNDROME

    • Internalized Fear of Being Exposed as a "Fraud", Self-Doubt, Negative Self-Image

  • MASCULINITY (The Harmful, Patriarchal Kinds)​

    • "Be a Man", "Don't Cry", "Toughen Up", "Nut Up or Shut Up"​, Everything Packed into "The Man Box"

  • MOOD​

    • Anxiety Disorders, Depressive Disorders, Bipolar Disorders

  • MEANINGLESSNESS & SEARCHING FOR MEANING​

    • Boredom, Isolation, Fulfillment, Purpose, Satisfaction​, Values, Achievement

  • PERSONAL GROWTH​

    • Low Motivation, Perfectionism, Success Sabotage, Goal Setting​

  • RELATIONSHIPS

    • Attachment, Codependency, Conflict, Sex & Intimacy, Trust, Resentment, Criticism

  • SELF-ESTEEM​

    • Body Image, Low Self-Worth, Negative Core Beliefs​, Harsh Judgment Toward Self

  • STRESS​

    • Work, Money, Family, Dating, Intimacy, Relationships, Sex​

  • TRAUMA (Acute, Chronic, Complex)​

    • Abuse, Grief, Intimate Partner Violence, Medical, PTSD​

  • WORK / LIFE BALANCE

    • Boundaries, ​Leisure, Productivity, Priorities, Push & Pull of Competing Demands​, Self-Care

What to Expect:

FIRST: Free 15 Minute Phone Consultation. This is the first opportunity for you and the therapist to ask each other questions. We discuss reasons why you're getting started in therapy, your needs and your therapeutic goals, and schedule availability. Mostly, we want to figure out if you and the therapist could be a good fit to work together. If so, then we schedule an intake appointment and you receive a Welcome Email to the Client Portal, where you can complete the required consent forms and book future appointments online.

SECOND: The Initial Intake Appointment. This is the next best opportunity for you to share as much about you and your life story as you can in order to help the therapist better understand you and what you need moving forward. Assessment & Evaluation of your mental health will guide discussion that is also focused on recent and remote history of many parts of you and your life like family, education, employment, self-care, and social relationships. We discuss a lot in this first appointment while we also make sure that the pace of our process helps you feel seen, heard, and understood. Finally, we identify specific therapeutic goals, discuss your treatment options, and create your personalized plan for therapy.

 

THIRD: First Follow Up Appointment. Assessment & Evaluation, Treatment Planning, and Discharge Planning will continue to show up as frequent topics of discussion throughout the course of treatment - they're not just discussed once in the first session and then never again mentioned. Now that you have had a chance to create a personalized plan for your therapy, we start working it into action. Mostly, we keep building rapport because the therapeutic relationship drives the work.

GOING FORWARD: Follow Up Appointments. Therapeutic process moves at your pace. Safely guiding clients through their own personalized treatment plan tops the agenda for each and every therapy session. Feedback Loops will help us monitor and modify how we work with each other in order to ensure that you get the return on your investment in therapy that you need because that is what matters to us most. Eventually, therapy will end and you will continue to build a life worth living.

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