Is Counselling and Coaching for ‘Real Men’?

In many parts of society men are often groomed to be ‘strong’. I use the term ‘strong’ in the sense of not showing any weakness, not revealing any emotions or not expressing feelings. It’s not that men don’t have weaknesses or emotions, or even feelings … it’s just that some men have learnt to believe that allowing these to be observed by others will reduce their sense of manhood. This grooming, or programming, can take place over years, starting at home, moving to the school yard and even continuing in many work environments.

However, times are changing: “We are living at an important and fruitful moment now, for it is clear to men that the images of adult manhood given by popular culture are worn out; a man can no longer depend on them. By the time a man is thirty-five, he knows that the images of the right man, the tough man, the true man, which he received in high school, do not work in life. Such a man is open to new visions of what a man is or could be”. (Robert Bly in Iron John)

‘Real Men’ in this century are starting to explore and integrate all aspects of themselves. They are learning that a ‘real man’ is a whole man … a man who embraces all of himself … his strengths, his weaknesses, his thoughts, his feelings, his fears and his successes.

So, is counselling and coaching for ‘real men’?

Seeking counselling or coaching does not mean that one is weak. In fact, it suggests the very opposite. It takes a strong and brave person, in a time of feeling challenged, to seek help.

And because of the confidentiality framework offered by counselling and coaching no-one else needs to know that you’re seeing a counsellor or coach. Confidentiality expressly includes not revealing to anyone else who their client’s are.

In fact, part of the confidentiality agreement that you should have with your coach or counsellor, is in relation to communication outside of the sessions. Perhaps you don’t want your counsellor or coach to leave a message on your voicemail, or to only use a particular email address. These are important elements that you can agree with them.

Professional Counselling and Coaching engagements should be conducted within a framework that is agreed between yourself and your counsellor or coach. This framework can be fluid and can take different shapes throughout your work with your coach or counsellor. It is important that you communicate any concerns that you have right from the outset, and continue to do so at any point along the way.

There are many counsellors and coaches offering services throughout Australia. They have different levels of experience, different frameworks and techniques and different types of training.

So, however you define yourself as a man, perhaps you can change the question you are asking from “is counselling and coaching for ‘real men’?” to “how do I find the right counsellor or coach for me?”.

Harley Conyer



Category : Blog & Counselling and Coaching Myths & Men's Coaching and Counselling

Comments are closed.