There are many reasons to go to therapy, (your emotions are getting the better of you, you have suffered from Trauma, you are having presenting physical ailments, you are using substances or finding unhealthy “coping” techniques, you are struggling in your relationship, you just need a non-judgmental person to talk with). In all of these cases finding a counselor that fits you and your needs becomes essential. Do you have a job with specific jargon or lingo that would help if the counselor understood the terms? Do you have physical requirements (ADA approved) or access? Are there time or financial constraints? All of these reasons are right for finding a trained professional that has the skills and knowledge to walk with you through your journey.
Before getting into the field of counseling, I had a successful career working in an industry that does not like to acknowledge feelings and relationships, so finding a counselor was not a popular suggestion around the office. Then when I went to find a counselor to talk with, he didn’t understand the terminology or the high-pressure and demands of the job. He tried, and he really WANTED to help me, but with all of his good intentions, he lacked the skill-set to talk with me on a level that I felt he connected with me. I tried a couple more counselors, one was too young, one was too old. Finally, I found one that seemed to “get me”. I was able to relate on a personal level and use jargon that was known in the industry, but not used outside. He was authentic, he was genuine and used an approach that connected with me on a person al level. Here is what I learned, and now being a Counselor, I am able to take with me to my clients.
As counselors we are taught be authentic… but what does that mean when you are trying to connect with every client. What it means is find that genuineness to tell a client, “I’m not the right fit”, if that is the case. When clients have specific needs, wants to discuss certain areas of their life, it is important to state as a counselor if you have knowledge in that area. It helps speed up the flow of the conversation to understand the jargon. As a client, I would appreciate it if the counselor got the lingo of the field, I was working in.
Be open to do the hard work. I thought that if I saw a counselor, I would tell them my problems, and they would tell me the solution. THAT IS NOT COUNSELING, that is talking with a friend. Part of the therapeutic process is sitting in the emotions and having the counselor hold space for you during that self-actualization. Talking through the emotions of an event, replaying it, talking it out, that is the hard work. It is easy to have someone else tell you what to do, it is much harder to find the solution on your own and then implement the process.
Don’t be afraid. This is on many different levels. Don’t be afraid of what the counselor might think. Don’t be afraid of what you might say aloud and hear in your own head. Don’t be afraid of feelings your emotions on many different levels. If you are in an industry where you are taught not to express your emotions, like a carbonated beverage, in a sealed container, you can only hold so much before you are like a shaken carbonated beverage, and you will explode as a “release valve”. It may be at the people you care most about, your family, your friends, your co-workers (which leads to a trip to HR). The place to have those conversations is with a counselor you can trust and respect.
When “only 60% of depressed men go for treatment, but over 72% of women obtain help” it is apparent who is seeking the help they most likely need, and who is still holding on to some bravado and maybe a little “suck it up” medication. This is not the solution. The solution is to seek the help needed BEFORE it becomes too late. Biological identified men have a harder time accessing their feelings and emotions due to lesser receptors in the corpus callosum, thus looking for other outlets (typically physical) to press the “release valve”. This is not uncommon, and while there is a time and place for the physical activity, it should be done for fun, not as a coping mechanism; there are additional health benefits to doing physical activity for fun as well.
When life starts to get tough, and you think, I need to find a “release valve”, instead of turning to drugs, alcohol, web content, or other addictive traits, seeks a counselor, we have a great staff at Pacific Behavioral Health and can be the spot to start your conversation. I offer a free 15-minute consultation here.
“Only 60% of depressed men go for treatment, but over 72% of women obtain help.” (Gateway Accessed on 20220915: https://gatewaycounseling.com/men-seeking-