Men are More Reluctant to Seek Psychotherapy and Counselling help than Women
In a recent article published in the BACP’s monthly magazine, ‘Therapy today’, Colin Penning writes, “Many people think men’s emotional literacy and ability to articulate their feelings is less than that of women. The question then is, do these assumptions about men reflect a stereotype or a reality? This was the question that Relate and the Men’s Health Forum set out to explore in their new report Try to See it My Way.
We know that men are more reluctant than women to seek support and advice when relationships run into difficulties. Far fewer men use telephone advice and helpline services. We also know that men are less likely to access counselling services generally. Men make up just 36 per cent of referrals to the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) programme. They are also under-represented in relationship support services: just 44 per cent of Relate’s clients are men.
So why can’t (or won’t) men seek help for emotional problems? The first and most obvious answer is that men are socialised not to admit to vulnerability, which is a prerequisite of securing help. The second is that maybe we aren’t offering the kind of support that men can relate to and that they find helpful.
The report suggests work is a key factor. Men’s tendency to work longer hours can cause relationship problems and conflicts around the life–work balance; financial difficulties can increase pressure on the man, who is often still the primary breadwinner in the family.
One of the key findings of the report is that men and women have very different approaches to communication. Insights generated by two focus groups of Relate counsellors found that men have a tendency to want to ‘solve problems’ while women want to discuss change and understand why things have happened. So men are coming to counselling with unrealistic expectations.
But the Relate counsellors told us that men may have become more open to the idea of relationship counselling in recent years. And they told us there may be things we can do to reach out to and engage men in taking better care of their own emotional health.
Our report makes a series of recommendations. Some are to national Government around raising men’s awareness of the importance of emotional health and making personal, social and health education a statutory requirement in schools. ”
Admitting to finding things difficult and seeking help is not a weakness. The therapists at The Cavendish Psychotherapy Practice have many years experience working through issues presented by male patients in order to discover what lies at the root of their difficulties.
The Cavendish Psychotherapy Practice is found at 121 Harley Street, London.
Research Shows Psychological Vulnerability in Actors
A recent study by California State University looked at the psychology of the sort of people who choose to become actors. The results imply that these people tend to be imaginative but also emotionally vulnerable.
Paula Thomson and S. Victoria Jaque wrote in the Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity and the Arts journal that “Our study adds to the body of research that suggests there is a psychological cost for participants engaged in the creative arts”.
Their study looked at 41 professional actors living in Cape Town. Toronto and Los Angeles and compared them with people from other artistic groups such as athletes and art lovers.
What they discovered was that, “Even though there was no difference between the two groups for past traumatic events, more actors were unable to maintain narrative coherence when discussing memories of past trauma and loss.” The actors struggled when attempting to discuss past traumas which the researchers felt suggested that they find it harder to resolve these traumas.
The researchers illustrated how the actors had an increased ability to “remain engaged, regulated and coherent during the interview process”, however, they were also more likely to show signs of confusion, prolonged silence or “unsuccessful failures to deny a traumatic or loss event”. Thomson and Jaque argue that this suggests “a greater vulnerability for psychological distress”.
Thomson and Jaque give a note of caution to those thinking of an acting career in therapeutic terms: “Actors may have enhanced their imagination through the practice of acting or they may have entered a career that supports their heightened predisposition for fantasy.”
For those who do choose to become actors, there is psychological support available in the form of talking therapies such as psychotherapy and counselling. This can help develop an understanding of past traumas and resolve feelings surrounding them.
The psychotherapists at The Cavendish Psychotherapy Practice on London’s Harley Street, work with people of all backgrounds, including members of the performing arts who struggle with emotional and psychological problems.
Psychotherapists Might Consider 10 Hours p.w. Too Much
Internet Porn Addiction: A Quarter of Men Surveyed Worried About the Amount of Porn they are watching.
A recent survey carried out by the Tavistock and Portman clinic, revealed that 25% of men believe they are viewing too much porn. The ease at which porn can be viewed at no cost, may be the key to the rise in the amount being watched. 4% of men surveyed said they were watching more than 10 hours of porn per week – a rate that therapists at The Cavendish Psychotherapy Practice in London would consider problematic.
“Someone watching ten hours of porn per week could be heading towards compulsive and addictive behaviour” says Rebecca Barrie, psychotherapist at the Cavendish Psychotherapy Practice. “It’s likely that someone who’s watching that amount of porn could be struggling in other areas of their lives. It would almost certainly be affecting their sexual relationships – influencing their sexual behaviour, it might also be causing concern in other ares of their lives – work might begin to suffer.
When use of porn is compulsive and the individual continues to engage in it despite negative consequecies in realtionships or other areas of life, addiction may be setting in.
It might be important for those who feel their casual use of porn is escalating to reassess their use, and ask themselves why they are needing to escape into the fantasy worlds that porn sites provide.
Counselling and psychotherapy can provide an excellent support for anyone who is concerned about their use of porn. The Cavendish Psychotherapy Practice in London offers descrete, confidential and professional psychotherapy to those looking to explore their compulsions or addictions.
The Cavendish Psychotherapy Practice is based in Harley Street, Central London.
Psychotherapy can help with Psychosexual Difficulties
At The Cavendish Psychotherapy Practice, therapists are experienced in working with those struggling with psychosexual issues. Psychosexual therapy looks at how emotional factors, not always apparent at a conscious level, can influence sexual performance and enjoyment as well as our sexual choices.
Psychosexual counselling or therapy helps address the underlying psychological or emotional causes of sexual difficulties. In talking to a therapist in a confidential environment, issues that may seem very difficult to talk about with lovers or friends, can be shared, explored and often resolved. Issues that the Cavendish Psychotherapists are experienced in working with include; lack of desire, fear of sexual contact, fear of sexual organs, body dysmorphia, sexual compulsion, sexual orientation and gender confusion.
The Cavendish Psychotherapy Practice is in Harley Street, Central London.