by Chase Young, M.A.
“Don’t cry; it makes you look weak,” “Just get angry and be tough,” “Stop whining, you sound like a girl.” These are some of the things that I have heard growing up, seen on movies and TV shows, and when I was involved in sports. I’m supposed to be a tough and stoic guy because I grow out my beard and have a few tattoos, and I’m not supposed to tear up when Mufasa dies in “The Lion King.” Well, unfortunately what I (and many other men) have been taught doesn’t serve us well as adults, when bills pile up, loved ones pass away, and the stress of everyday life builds inside our chests.
So, what are we supposed to do? How are we supposed to get our feelings out, and still look tough and manly? Well, it’s simple really and yup, you guessed it, the answer is… THERAPY! But isn’t therapy only for girls? Isn’t therapy where you talk about your relationship with your mom and dad? These were the thoughts I had before going to therapy. However, if you are able to step over these masculine expectations, then you are one step closer to finding peace and comfort in your life. And if you haven’t, I would like to direct your attention to something I found incredibly helpful in changing how I felt about therapy and expressing emotions as a Midwestern boy who was told to do everything but go to therapy.
Man Therapy is a program that was developed in Colorado and it uses humor and sarcasm to show the importance of men’s mental health. Man Therapy has helpful videos that illustrate the “toughness” of emotions and therapy, as well as symptom checklists and many other mental health resources. For instance, one of my favorite videos features Dr. Rich Mahogany (a Ron Swanson incarnate) demonstrating the pros of yoga for men. But I’m not flexible for yoga and I don’t fit into those tight pants, you might say. Well, Dr. Mahogany says differently!
Therapy can be SCARY and it can be a vulnerable experience, but the benefits of it outweigh the cost of these anti-masculine feelings we might get and have been told are true. Therapy can also be used for more than just talking about your past and being analyzed like is portrayed in movies and TV. Instead, it can be used to understand why you’re not happy at work or home, increasing confidence in self-esteem, learning how to approach difficult situations differently, and even help with decision making for life changing events. Most importantly, therapy can be used how YOU want it to be used, and if you’re unsure on how to even go about therapy, then reach out to our team and we can help you on this difficult and MANLY journey. If you still have some reservations, check out Man Therapy and try out their Head Inspection!
And then when you’re ready to take the leap, contact us! One of our experienced staff therapists will be happy to work with you.