People are facing huge challenges these days. Having somewhere to talk about their issues can really help someone to consider how they might possibly make changes or how they can better cope with the problems they can’t avoid. When you look at some of the issues affecting people in the UK today, it appears especially important to try to encourage men to consider counselling.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed that in 2011 there were 7.7 million people living on their own. In the 16 – 64 age group, the majority (59 per cent) of those living alone were male. Yet various studies have shown that men who live alone are more likely to suffer from health problems or die young. www.ons.gov.uk/ons/dcp171778_251357.pdf
- Parenting in single parent households
The ONS also announced that the number of single-parent families in Britain last year had reached the 2 million mark. The difficulties that face many single-parent families as been well documented, especially that of boys growing up without a male role model. Early experiences of being parented whether positive or negative can then impact on a father’s ability to parent.
- Drug and alcohol abuse
www.drinkaware.co.uk tell us that alcohol is responsible for 33,000 deaths in the UK each year. The death rate amongst men through alcohol was over double that for women. Drug and alcohol abuse continues to cause much misery for users and their families. www.ons.gov.uk/ons/dcp171778_254061.pdf
- The recession
Britain has about 2.5 million unemployed people and the recession has also affected the earnings of many self-employed people. Unemployment and loss of earnings can greatly affect a person’s self esteem. The latest figures show that half of the UK’s young black men are unemployed. www.ons.gov.uk
- Loss of a loved one through suicide
The statistics for suicide among males is as much as three times that of females in some parts of the UK. Sadly, in recent years, suicide has become the single largest cause of death in young men, overtaking even road traffic accidents. www.statistics.gov.uk/hub/health-social-care/health-of-the-population/causes-of-death
- Victims of violence
Young men aged between 16 and 24 years are the most likely people to be victims of violence. Although women are still five times more likely than men to be affected by domestic violence, it is a growing problem for men.
The NSPCC tell us that in 2010/11 “Bullying was the main reason that boys called ChildLine” and that “65% of lesbian, gay and bisexual young people have experienced homophobic bullying at school”. www.nspcc.org.uk
How can counselling help?
Suppressing strong feelings can lead not only to physical problems but also to mental health issues. Talking about their issues or what they might consider to be a weakness can be something men find especially difficult. Men often view counselling as a last resort, maybe even as something that a woman would do. Often they feel they must try to cope alone and then end up in crisis as a result.
We would encourage men to consider counselling in a different light, as somewhere they can off-load and focus on what they need to, in the way they need to. We find that sometimes working in a more analytical way in order to help our male clients understand how emotions and feelings affect their lives is more appealing to them.
In counselling people are encouraged to consider that how they think, feel or behave could be affecting their life. Counselling is a collaborative effort with the goal of helping the client to become more self-aware. In doing this it can empower the person to make changes that previously might have felt too difficult or unattainable.
The counselling relationship is unique. It is a confidential space where the client can talk without the burden of having to listen to the other person’s unwanted advice or even to their problems and whilst knowing that what is said is not going to be repeated to friends and family. The client can speak, comfortable in the knowledge that they will not be judged but that the counsellor will be emphatically viewing the client’s issues in his (or her) shoes, i.e. from the client’s viewpoint.
Whilst counselling does not help everyone, many people have experienced benefits from counselling. They come out of the experience feeling heard, more self-aware, empowered, and perhaps ready to make changes or having identified alternative options.
What help can Talk-in-Herts Counselling Services provide?
We are an enthusiastic and flexible counselling practice, with a wide range of experience. Our specialist expertise ranges from working with addictions, domestic violence, the homeless, as well as with people who have suffered bereavement, loss, trauma, relationship problems, depression, anger, anxiety and other issues. We also have experience of working specifically with men.
Some of the reasons for choosing online counselling include convenience, mobility, a wish to remain anonymous, or finding writing therapeutic. It is important to have the correct training when working online in order to be aware of all the ethical and legal implications. Our qualified online counsellor is a member of the Association for Counselling and Therapy Online (ACTO) and works to their Code of Ethics.
We are all members of BACP and adhere to their Ethical Framework. We are also registered with Data Protection and all our counsellors have current CRB checks. For face-to-face counselling, we work out of Hatfield, covering the whole of Hertfordshire in counselling rooms around the county. Please look around our website for more information and for further details of our online counselling service.