Therapy is a transformative experience that requires the right personality fit between client and clinician. Beyond that, trust and rapport are what drive a successful therapeutic relationship.
Notice that I didn’t say therapy was always a comfortable experience. To grow and evolve is to break free of the comfort cocoon you’ve nestled into. It is time to morph into the successful, happy butterfly you’ve always wanted to be. Therapy is work, but making that commitment to your mental health is just as important as eating your veggies, getting your rest, and hitting the gym.
Maybe you haven’t given much thought to the gender of your therapist. Or maybe you’re very uncomfortable with the idea of a male therapist. Maybe the men in your life have always let you down, and the thought of being vulnerable with ANOTHER male isn’t giving you that warm, fuzzy feeling.
Try shifting your mindset on men. Consider these reasons why seeing a male therapist might actually be just what you need:
Avoidance of men because of past trauma may actually be a reason to seek out a male therapist.
Exposing yourself to uncomfortable situations is part of the growing pains of therapy. Although it may seem scary at the beginning of your journey, the research tells us that building a relationship with a male therapist may actually tear down your fear of men by replacing previously traumatic experiences with new, healthy encounters.
Women with relationship issues can gain insight from the male perspective to help them understand the men in their life.
No one knows a man’s brain better than a man – so why not talk to someone that gets it? Maybe a male therapist could even lead you in couple’s counseling and help you relate to your man on a new level – especially if he is hesitant about coming to therapy in the first place.
A male therapist with emotional intelligence can serve as a model for positive male behaviors.
Creating a trusting connection with a male therapist that listens, understands, and serves your needs can be a step in the right direction in healing from past relationships with men that lacked those qualities. You may actually end up finding comfort in the bond you experience with a male therapist. It absolutely has the potential to change your mind about the generalizations you’ve made about men in the past.
Your anxiety is telling you stories.
If you’ve never worked with a male therapist and you have decided not to work with one, you may consider that your anxiety has given you all kinds of stories that may be preventing you from trying something new. “I don’t feel as comfortable with a male,” “They won’t understand the female experience,” “Men trigger me so it wouldn’t help my healing journey.” These all might be distorted thoughts that keep your anxiety rooted where it is. Just by challenging this idea you could be fighting your anxious mind. The best thing about a therapist is if you try a session with a male and it isn’t a good fit for you… it won’t hurt their feelings if you tell them you think a female therapist may be a better fit.
Seeing a male therapist could actually benefit you therapeutically just by adding a compassionate male to your narrative. We hope this information has served you in making a decision about what type of counselor would best benefit you!
About the Author
Sydnee Boswell is Evolution Wellness’s Care Coordinator. She has a bachelor’s degree in Public Health and loves serving the community by advocating for mental health awareness and destigmatization.