7 Reasons Guys Should Try Therapy

It's a gendered trope that men don't ask for help. Not for personal issues, not for work problems, and definitely not for directions.

But here's the thing: Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness. Au contraire, bro – opening yourself up to help, especially in the form of therapy, requires maturity, emotional wisdom, and a willingness to evolve... all of which indicate personal strength.

Not convinced yet? If you’re a guy who’s never been to therapy, here are seven reasons to consider going:

1. It can connect – or reconnect – you with your emotions

Hey there, sadness! Long time, no see.

If you have trouble tapping deeply into a range of emotions – both positive and negative – there may be a reason for it. Studies show that from a young age, society fosters males’ discussions about emotion towards anger, rather than a diverse and natural range of emotions [1].

So if you literally don’t have the words to express what you’re feeling, there’s a valid reason for it – chances are, you weren’t conditioned or taught to discuss your feelings.

But luckily, therapy doesn’t have to be talk-based; there are some modalities, like music therapy and art therapy, that can help you get those in tune with those emotions without having to cough them up verbally.  

2. Therapy can help you with physical issues

Exploring your body – the good and the bad – through talk therapy is great for any man who feels a mind-body disconnect.

Consider, for example, erectile dysfunction. Seeing a sex therapist for ED can help you:

Seeing a sex therapist for anywhere from five to 20 sessions can set you up with significant gains in sexual function and satisfaction.

Another type of physical issue that therapy can help with? Chronic pain. If you have an ongoing issue (e.g., consistent back pain, ongoing carpal tunnel, flareups from a past physical injury like an accident or sports injury), certain therapy types – like cognitive behavioral therapy and acceptance and commitment therapy – can help your healing process.

3. Crying in front of another person is scientifically proven to be good for you

It's one of our most firmly entrenched beliefs about masculinity: Men shouldn't cry.

So if you're the kind of guy who tends to hide your tears, and are worried therapy will overwhelm you to the point where that's not possible, rest assured knowing that crying in front of others is actually good for you.

Studies show that reaching for the Kleenex around others (like, ahem, your therapist) can lead to a better overall mood than crying alone [2].

4. Seeing a therapist can boost your income

If you aren’t seeing a therapist for emotional stability, do it for your bank account.

One study found that men who saw a therapist – for self-reported symptoms of anxiety and depression – saw an increase in their income by 13 percent the following year.

In addition to the correlation with salary boosts, therapy is linked to health benefits that can ripple out to positively impact your work and career (and overall happiness!) and help you avoid costly healthcare bills.

How's that work, you ask? Studies have shown that certain therapies, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), can actually change the composition of your prefrontal cortex, aka the part of the brain responsible for higher-level thinking.

Attention, decision-making, creativity: These are all traits that benefit from therapy work, and translate to success on the job.

5. Therapy and couples counseling can drastically improve your relationship issues

If you’re on the fence about whether you should seek relationship advice from a professional, know that research is in its favor. In fact:  

Note that joining your partner in therapy as a "favor" will only get you as far as you want it to. Actively wanting to participate in couples counseling from a genuine place will get you much further.

You can see a therapist one-on-one for relationship issues, too, such as:

A healthy relationship that develops between you and your therapist help address intimacy issues within other relationships.

New kiddo, new lifestyle! Parenthood is a monumental transition, and comes with so many emotions.

Research shows that up to 10 percent of new fathers experience paternal postpartum depression [5]; talk therapy can help you get through it.  

Even if you’re not experiencing symptoms of PPD, seeing a therapist can help you navigate the highs, lows, and sleep-deprived stressors of this tremendous life change.  

7. A therapist is connection that exists outside of your work, personal, or family life

TL;DR: Your therapist has zero affiliations with your partner, your boss, your parents, your kids, your brother-in-law, or your dog. Your therapist is there for you and you alone. With this connection existing only within the walls of your therapist’s office, there are no unreachable expectations put on you.

And sometimes, that's all you need. Someone to turn to with your most intimate thoughts and worries, let off that bottled-up pressure, and walk out the door after your hour's up.


If any of this sounds good to you, the next step is to find a great therapist! Figure out what type of therapy might be best for you, schedule calls with a few providers to assess fit, and then buy yourself a beer: You've taken an important step towards becoming the man you know you can be.

Sources
1: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2FBF00288079?LI=true
2: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4934120/#B30
3: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1752-0606.2011.00249.x
4: https://www.aamft.org/About_AAMFT/About_Marriage_and_Family_Therapists.aspx
5: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/185905?redirect=true