Research has shown that the most common counselling scenario is female clients working with female counsellors.
In the early part of the twenty first century why is there still such a strong resistance by men to seek out counselling? Although there has been an increase in men attending therapy over the last ten years it’s still not proportional to the number of women attending therapy.
There are strong indicators that both men and women benefit from therapy. But men still resist the traditional process of therapy. Men often appear uncomfortable in the therapy environment; they appear unwilling to disclose in the traditional manner, they may use humour or aggression to divert attention, or may be uncommunicative or sullen. Men appear to experience a range of problems that are over represented in their gender: emotional restriction, interpersonal isolation and conflict, workaholic behaviour, and substance abuse.
Men may often feel they are neglected in the therapy room during relationship counselling. This may be in part due to the resistance men have towards therapy or the belief that the couple can work out their own problems. Is this resistance in part due to the difficulty men generally feel towards disclosure? Many men have been socialised to suppress emotions and to be over achievement orientated. Also there are cultural contexts that may be inhibiting the counselling process.
New approaches to counselling men include taking therapy out of the counselling room and involving some form of physical exercise activity. This may reduce the stress and discomfort men experience during therapy.
Christopher Swane - Counselling And Psychotherapy For Men - Wellington New Zealand