How can we help you?
Choosing who to work with in therapy is a big decision and of course you have questions! This is a good thing – questions mean that you are invested in the process. We've collected some commonly asked questions here for you to look through. If you find that you have other questions or you need more information, just give our counseling office a call and we'll talk through any of your questions or concerns.
[Justin Pere answering] I have a great deal of experience working with female counselors, both as a colleague and as a client, so I very much believe in males working with female counselors. Some of my most influential mentors were (and are!) the women I encountered in a therapeutic setting over the years. However, I discovered long ago the power of working with a male therapist and have believed in the pairing of men in a therapeutic setting ever since.
Benefits of a Male Therapist for Men's Therapy
A therapist need not have experienced every issue a client brings into counseling to be able to work effectively with them (what tortured souls therapists would be if that were the case!), however the value of a therapist being able to relate in a very personal way to the majority of issues men bring into therapy is immeasurable, and the same-sex commonality of counselor and client is one I have come to believe in.
Additionally, men generally have a much harder time opening up about their problems than women and often find it easier to discuss certain issues with another male.
Psychiatric medications are sometimes used along with talk therapy, usually when people are diagnosed with mental disorders such as depression or anxiety.
Therapy and Medications
It is commonly recommended that talk therapy be incorporated into one's treatment whenever psychiatric medications are being used, as the combination of talk therapy and medications tends to work well together. An antidepressant may lift a person's mood, for example, allowing them to participate more fully in psychotherapy and therefore bring about more lasting change.
We have working relationships with trusted doctors, naturopaths, and nurse practitioners (ARNPs) in the area who can do medication management with clients if medication is appropriate.
Men enter into counseling for a number of reasons, many of them the same as those that bring women into therapy, but the following are issues we often work with men on:
- Depression & anxiety
- Marriage/relationship problems
- Communication skill-building
- Restricted range of emotion
- Issues with intimacy or sex drive - whether low, no, or overactive
- Controlling or rigid behavior
- Affairs (having had, or currently in, or recovering from the spouse's affair)
- Marriage separation or divorce
- Questioning sexuality
- Alcohol or substance abuse
- Take some time after each session to review what was said and to really think about how to incorporate your therapy experience into your day-to-day life outside the therapy office.
- The most important work of therapy takes place in between sessions when the therapeutic hour is utilized outside of the therapist's office, so be sure to follow up on any tasks that were established in session.
- Be as honest with your therapist as you are willing, as he or she can't help you if you withhold important information.
- Trust that when moments in therapy are difficult, or the therapeutic work you do outside of the therapy session is difficult, that this is growth and positive change.
There are a couple of common reasons why the process of therapy can be ineffective or, at a minimum, disappointing. For some, they may not have been truly ready to perform the necessary work of facing up to and working on the real issues at play in their situation, and this resistance stunted the process of creating lasting change.
It is not uncommon for people, though well-intentioned, to seek therapy in hopes of changing those around them rather than working on themselves. Thankfully, it is usually the case that when we change ourselves, those around us change as well.
Importance of Relationship Between Therapist and Client
For others, the pairing of client and therapist may simply not have been the right match. Though many therapists differ in their specific therapeutic approach, research shows that the single best determinant of success in therapy is the quality of the working relationship between therapist and client. *This applies to both individual and couples therapy.