How To Get Your Man To Go To Therapy
By Candice Smith
What's harder than pulling out teeth without any novocaine? That would be getting a man to seek or accompany you to any type of mental health counseling or couple's therapy.
Women the world over have wondered why it is so hard to get men to go to counseling, especially when there are pressing relationship issues that need to be dealt with before they fester. Part of the reason why it may feel difficult is because of the way most (not all) men are hardwired to solve problems. While most women feel most comfortable talking about their feelings openly, and reaching out to their tribe or trusted confidants in times of emotional need, men usually go into their mental " caves, and try to solve the problems in their lives by going within for the solutions. Also many men feel uncomfortable being emotionally vulnerable with people they do not deeply trust for fear of being seen as weak, or being blamed, and seen as a failure.
Even though men and women are hardwired to connect and problem solve in different ways doesn't mean that you should throw in the towel on getting your man to agree to attend counseling sessions in order to improve your relationship or his personal issues. Below are my tips to get your man on board with getting the mental health support he needs, and heal your relationship.
Approach him at the right time about attending counseling. You should not attempt to to bring up going to counseling immediately after an argument, when you are overly emotional, when you are PMSing, when he is emotional or angry, or when he is stressed out, or has to make a major decision about something else in his life. It is best to approach your man when he is in a light hearted mood, while you all are doing a relaxing activity together, or believe it or not immediately after sex. Men are more emotionally vulnerable, relaxed, and open to suggestions when they've had an orgasm. Be sure to bring up the topic as a suggestion, and tell him that you think trying a therapy session would be an amazing idea because you want to feel even more connected and you need his help.
Overcome the objections before he can object. This is a common sales technique, but the same principals apply. Men are usually going to object due to price/cost and say he's too busy, combat this by doing all your research before hand, make a detailed proposal or chart that shows the rates of at least 3-5 different therapists at various price points that are affordable and have flexible times, and virtual session options. Highlight the therapists that offer free sessions etc. or first time client discounts.
Choose a male therapist. One of the biggest reasons men hate going to counseling is because he thinks the therapist is going to be another woman, and that he is going to be attacked and ganged up on, or be blamed for all the problems in the relationship. Sometimes men feel a woman will automatically side with his woman and be less open to hearing him out. When you choose a male therapist many men let their guard down and feel safer.
Ease him into therapy or couple's counseling by going to wellness retreats or couples retreats that focus on mind, body, soul type of programs. Doing these types of retreats can be bonding and are fun which naturally leads to connecting emotionally.
Don't nag him about or compare him to other men. If he simply refuses to go see a therapist then let it go. Sometimes men become stubborn on purpose the more that a woman nags and begs him to do something. Simply let it go, and focus on improving yourself, and the other things you do have control over in your life. If his relationship infractions and mental health issues are severe, relationship deal breakers, make you feel unsafe, or put your children in harms way, you may need to seriously consider why you are in a relationship with a person like that in the first place and get counseling for yourself.
In the end, the only person you can ever control in a relationship is yourself. Getting your partner to agree to see a therapist can feel like a challenge, but if you approach it a non threatening way, you might be surprised at their change of heart.
*If you are a woman living abroad and you want to advance your global lifestyle through building a business, investing, and networking please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org