What Men Should Know When Starting Therapy: 5 Helpful Tips

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Published Date|
March 19, 2024

What Men Should Know When Starting Therapy: 5 Helpful Tips

Starting therapy is a big investment of your time, money, and energy - and you want to make sure it will actually work for you.

As more men begin to view therapy as an important part of their lives, you want to know how to find a therapist who will work for you.

Here at KMA Therapy, we’re passionate about helping you learn about the entire therapy process from start to finish so that you can get the support you deserve.

After reading this article, you’ll know five tips to help you have a successful start to therapy.

5 Tips for Men Starting Therapy

These five tips can help you understand what to expect from therapy and set yourself up to succeed during the therapy process.

1. Identify why you’re coming to therapy

You don’t need to be in a crisis to come to therapy. Everyday stressors can take a large toll on your mental health, from problems at work to finances to concerns about your physical health.

If there’s any small change you’d like to make in your life, that’s reason enough to go to therapy (even if you just want to feel better).

Create a list of the reasons why you want to go to therapy and what you hope to gain from the experience.

Other common reasons men come to therapy include:

  • Stress
  • Loneliness
  • Grief or loss
  • Relationship issues
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Life transitions (changing jobs, entering a new stage of life, etc.)

There’s no wrong reason to go to therapy, and there are many different reasons why you might decide to come to therapy.

It can be helpful to have a clear list of the challenges you’re experiencing and how you hope to feel when you’ve solved them in order to figure out what type of therapist to see.

2. Decide what type of therapist you want to see

After you’ve identified the reasons you want to go to therapy, your next step is to start exploring what type of therapist you want to see.

In Ontario, there are several types of mental health professionals that practice therapy, including social workers, psychotherapists, and psychologists.

Generally, if you’re looking for medication you should see a psychiatrist, and if you’re looking for an official diagnosis, you should see a psychologist.

Otherwise, psychotherapists and social workers can support you through most mental health challenges (but each will have their own specialty.)

finding a men's therapist

Read What Type of Therapist Should I See? for an in-depth explanation of the different types of therapists.

Other factors to consider include your personal preferences - you want to speak to a therapist you feel comfortable opening up to and you want to feel like they understand you.

Many men prefer to speak to a male therapist because they’ve often faced the same pressures and experiences that you have.

Reasons you might prefer to see a male therapist include:

  • You want a man’s perspective
  • You’re more comfortable speaking with other men
  • You want to learn more about how men express emotions and feelings
  • You want someone who understands (not just empathizes with) what you’re experiencing first hand

Working with a male therapist can help you learn more about your emotions and how they are naturally expressed, while helping you explore why you might feel the need to suppress them.

If the gender of your therapist isn’t important to you, make sure to consider other factors like the therapist’s sense of humour, their personality, and their areas of expertise.

3. Conduct a broad search

After you’ve decided what type of therapist to see, it’s time to do your research.

Be specific about what you want - if you want a male therapist who specializes in stress and workplace issues, look for exactly that.

Websites like PsychologyToday can be a great place to start your search.

PsychologyToday lets you filter your therapist search through helpful factors like:

  • Age
  • Cost
  • Gender
  • Location
  • Types of therapy
  • Insurance coverage

Read How to Find a Therapist: The Ultimate Guide for a detailed walk-through.

4. Make sure you’re with the right match

After you’ve found a few therapists, you might have one who seems like the best match, or you may have a list of a few you’d be comfortable seeing.

If the therapists offer a free 15-minute phone consultation, this can be a great way to speak to the therapist and see if they’re a good match before beginning therapy. Other therapy clinics offer paid introductory sessions where they can match you with a therapist they feel is right for you.

Regardless of whether you’re matched with a therapist or you choose them for yourself, you should feel comfortable and confident when speaking to them.

Ways to know your therapist is the right fit include:

  • They fit your budget
  • You feel comfortable when speaking to them
  • They don’t make you feel judged or embarrassed
  • They have experience helping people with the same issues you’re facing
  • You feel understood by them and you feel confident they’ll be able to help you

If the first therapist you see isn’t right for you, it doesn’t mean therapy isn’t for you. It’s okay to try again with someone new (and some people don’t find the right therapist for them until the second or third therapist they see.)

5. Give it time

Even with the best therapist, your problems won’t disappear overnight. Therapy takes time.

It’s absolutely possible to see positive changes right away - speaking to a therapist can provide you with a sense of relief and understanding even after your first session, and therapists can equip you with different tools early on.

Still, it’s okay if you feel like you’re not resolving every issue you’re facing overnight.

Keep an open dialogue with your therapist, and let them know how you feel about the progress you’re making.

You deserve to see positive changes in your life, and it’s your therapist’s job to help you make it happen.

Next Steps for Beginning Therapy

After reading this article, you know five tips to help set you up for success in therapy.

Here at KMA Therapy, we’re here to support you through the entire therapy process.

Register online to learn more about working with KMA Therapy or read our Therapy 101 Guide to explore how therapy can work for you.

If you’d prefer to keep reading, check out these related articles:

Author |
Emily Weatherhead (Guest Author)
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