This post is about men. I am not one. But I do come from a family mostly comprised of men and very few women. So, I’ve learned a lot about the opposite sex.
One of my closest friends is Brazilian – from Brazil. When she came to visit me in the United States, we were both having a little difficulty with the men in our lives. I will never forget the way she looked over at me, and stated in her broken English, “Mens, mens, mens, mens, mens!” She shook her head and rolled her eyes as she said it. Since then, I like to quote my friend whenever I talk about men, hence the title of this post!
I think that what I am about to share will resonate with many of you, although, aside from my personal experience as a Talkspace therapist there’s no research to back it up (yet).
It’s true that most women typically do not experience difficulty talking about their problems; they will chat with their friend, neighbor, mom, hair stylist, nail tech, sister, husband, boyfriend, and anyone else who will lend a listening ear. So, it’s really no surprise that women make up the majority of our Talkspace clientele. They find the service to be easy-to-use and highly convenient. After all, they can chat with their therapist on their way to work, while at work, at home with the kids, or late at night after they have finally put the kids to bed. In other words, they reach out when they can and want to talk, or when they are feeling most vulnerable or lonely.
Men, however, are a different story. And I, for one, find their behavior to be the most intriguing.
Typically, men are not as eager to share their personal business with their buddies, neighbor, father, barber, wife, girlfriend, or anyone else that would be open to listening. This is independent of the fact that they actually do want to have someone to listen to them, to talk to, and to get help from. Most of my male clients genuinely want to get rid of their anxiety and depression; create stronger support systems; improve their marriages as well as their social lives; and learn how to cope with work-related and other types of stress.
The men that I have come into contact with, whether in my personal or professional life, have raved about how much they appreciate Talkspace as an online therapy platform. It’s a way for them to “talk” to someone, without having to take time off from work to make an appointment, miss out on family time, or time they could spend hanging out with friends or their partners. And because the majority of them seem to find it easier to discuss their concerns with someone they don’t have to look straight in the face, typing out what they want to say is a great way for them to ensure that they are stating exactly what they feel.
I’ve also noticed that when men choose to engage in a therapy session from their place of employment, they often trick themselves into thinking of therapy as a project they’re working on. This helps them feel a lot more comfortable about expressing their emotions, in effect, lowering their defenses. More than anything, men need to feel comfortable when they seek out the help they need, while saving face and keeping their pride in tact. So, it’s no wonder most male Talkspace users find the service to be very convenient. It’s private, works around their schedule, and they never have to worry about their Bentley being spotted outside a therapist’s office.
Men that have used Talkspace greatly benefited from the service. Many of them have been able to successfully overcome the serious obstacles in their lives. Some have become more aware of their emotions and, as a result, are more willing to address things head-on, rather than burying them deep inside. The vast majority became better communicators that are able to voice their feelings as well as ask for help in learning how to deal with them. And a large percentage of them have been able to cope with depression and anxiety, as well as see improvement in their marriages, careers, families, and social lives.
Overall, the men that sought and received Talkspace therapy became happier, healthier, and more secure in themselves.
As a therapist, it has been an especially rewarding experience to see men that were previously afraid of therapy become well-adjusted individuals with the help of Talkspace and the service it provides.
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