Jennifer Sanford, LMFT

Relationship & Transformational Counseling

Men often suffer in silence. 

That’s not very easy to hear, right?  My heart has always gone out to those suffering in this world and according to statistics, the numbers are staggering – especially for men.

In fact, over 6 million men struggle with clinical depression, and for the most part, they are not talking about it.  They get up in the morning, put their “everything is alright” smile on, and go about their day.

But what we don’t see is the extreme sadness, fear, guilt, anger, shame, addictions, etc., that are  hiding in cracks and crevices under the surface. Those experiencing these hurts are not likely to voice their pain and reach out for professional support.

The strongest people are not those who show strength in front of the world but those who fight and win battles that others do not know anything about.
–Jonathan Harnisch

Call Jennifer:  916-899-6632

Life can be a roller coaster ride.  There are times when things are rolling along, and other times when the road becomes quite bumpy. Male or female, life can surely throw unsettling experiences our way. There’s divorce, loss of loved ones, unemployment, the relentless push to “one up” others, unresolved trauma from childhood, relationship issues, and more.

Traditionally, many men hold it all inside. Society has been helpful in creating the unwritten rules and stigma that contribute to men not receiving the encouragement and support to reach out and ask for help.  The numbers report that men aren’t as willing to reach out for professional help when they are struggling with things like depression, anxiety, substance abuse, suicidal thoughts, and more. The numbers are even lower for Black, Asian, Native American, and Latino men. 

However, the old bottle-it-up and drink-it-away approach to dealing with psychological or emotional distress has shifted to a new talk-it-through strategy.  “Men are starting to realize that talking about their feelings can help them live happier, healthier lives,” says Ronald Levant, Ed.D., a cofounder of the Society for the Psychological Study of Men and Masculinity.

The men that do reach out to me for help have some common themes.  It’s important that men know their struggles are not unique to them-they are part of the human condition.  Here are several common areas:

  • Divorce or Relationship issues
  • Work/Life Balance
  •  Stress, which may present with somatic pains, complaints, or feelings of irritation or frustration
  • Body image or Self Esteem

Benefits Of Seeking Therapy For Men

The area of mental health for men is more than just a health issue.  It’s also a social issue, since factors like divorce and unemployment play a role. Men need to have access to professional counseling tailored for men, responding to their unique needs.  

Some of my male clients prefer to use terms like "consultations" rather than “therapy." This change of language helps support the value in achieving and emphasizing self-help and achievement- it helps normalize the way in which they prefer to discuss their meetings with others.  It has been my experience that men don’t want to suffer in silence.  They want to feel free to be themselves – emotional issues and all. They want to connect with those who can offer them a safe space to take their masks off and discuss the things that contribute to their pain, suffering or anger and not feel judged for sharing. 

There are numerous benefits that men can experience by reaching out for support.There’s no need to suffer in silence any longer. If you’re a man struggling with depression, anxiety, unresolved childhood trauma, fear, life/work balance, lack of motivation or feeling of purpose, etc., give yourself permission to find the map out of the struggle by reaching out for support. Make the call for the opportunity to gain peace of mind, happiness and ultimate health.  Seeing a therapist does not mean you have “problems”. It means you want to be a healthier version of yourself. It means adding more tools to your toolbox; tools that will translate directly into your relationships at work and home.

You can learn valuable skills such as:

  • Communication skills
  • Conflict resolution skills
  • Parenting skills
  • Relationship skills
  • Coping skills
  • Self-confidence
  • Ways to live a purpose-filled life
  • Reduce job stress
  • Improve self-esteem