If it doesn’t feel natural for you as a man to even be reading this and contemplating counseling, then you are in the right place. As a man who has experienced the process of recognizing that not all is well but still trying to deal with it on my own, I know it can be an exhausting experience, and one that ended up in my seeking help from others. For me it started with individual counseling and eventually transitioned to a group of friends who were willing to set aside time on a monthly basis to specifically support each other as we shared our challenges and successes in life. I really can’t imagine my life today without my group of men who are always there.
I believe asking for help can be a difficult thing to accept but also a sign of great strength. My services uniquely address the challenges of being a man in today’s society and help restore your sense of stability, confidence, and control.
Why is it so hard for us to ask for help?
To put it simply, socialization. It’s what we learned as we grew up from young boys to adolescence to adulthood. We learned, some more than others, that expressing or even speaking about emotions was not ok. This is because it goes against the social norm or image of what a strong man is. This message alone can be very confusing because we get slightly different messages depending on our social situation. Amongst our peers at school or work we might get the message of “be strong” or “suck it up” while other situations demand us to “be soft and caring”… but not too soft.
What is a man to do?
We are expected to stuff those emotions and conflicting thoughts down nice and deep and push on with life as if all is well. This approach does work for some time – and some of us actually become masters at it, but there is only so much internal pressure one can take before things start to demand a different approach. While the intensity and internal conflict caused by this mixed message may be more present in some men than others, it’s a real experience for all, even our families and friends. This is because our internal struggles eventually start to show up through our behavior and interactions with others. An increase in alcohol or marijuana consumption, irritability with loved ones and friends, feelings of anger, resentment, emotional distance from our partners, or just feeling down can be warning signs that things aren’t going so well.
Try something different.
Life Coaching, Therapy, Counseling, Mentoring … call it what you like, in my mind it’s all the same. It simply starts with your taking responsibility for your well being and making the time to examine the current issues and challenges that are keeping you from moving forward in your life. The depth of conversation is controlled by you and we work specifically on the issues and goals that we agree on. We can do this sitting across from each other in my office, grabbing a coffee at the local shop, hitting the weight room or going for a walk, it’s really up to you how it looks.
“I’d always believed that a life of quality, enjoyment, and wisdom were my human birthright and would be automatically bestowed upon me as time passed. I never suspected that I would have to learn how to live – that there were specific disciplines and ways of seeing the world I had to master before I could awaken to a simple, happy, uncomplicated life.” ~ Dan Millman
As a male therapist, I specialize in working with men and the challenges we face in today’s complex world. From me, you get the perspective of a man who brings a very diverse and unique set of life experiences that didn’t come out of a book. I personally bring a combination of military, corporate, and counseling experience into my work that allows me to relate to men in a way that is hard to find in other settings in life.
Life is a process, we learn as we go – so why not learn from others who have been there before us?
How does counseling work?
I approach my work with you in the “here and now.” By this I mean that I am focused on helping you find the least disruptive way to move beyond the current challenges you are facing. At times this will require us to address issues from the past, but only as far as they influence today. In this approach we remain focused on the “now” and look to the future. This strengths-based approach works to restore your confidence as a man in today’s turbulent world.
Jaime Davila is a bilingual therapist specializing in men’s issues. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 720-340-2799.