Brackenbury Counselling

Hope • Healing • Growth

Compass, illustrating new directions in mens counselling Stamford

Supporting You To Find A New Direction

Men's Counselling and Psychotheraphy

in Stamford, Lincolnshire

Check out what my client's say:

Thoughts on therapy from a Psychotherapist in Stamford

I'm a man, what would I get from therapy?

While there is less stigma now around men admitting mental health difficulties, there are still many blocks to them seeking support, yet

I regularly see male clients who report benefits such as these...

Moving from being emotionally numb to capable of feeling without becoming overwhelmed
Finding ways to self soothe and find calm, without resorting to unhealthy coping behaviours
Becoming more anger aware and learning to better regulate emotional responses
Understanding and recovering from burn out
Breaking free from an endless cycle of negative comparison with others
Finding a deep and robust sense of personal meaning in life
Moving from self-criticism to self-kindness
Freeing yourself from unhealthy shame and feelings of not being good enough
Having closer relationships due to being more in touch and willing to share your own vulnerability
Develop greater self-acceptance of who you really are, and starting to live more authentically

Men's Mental Health Issues I Work With

In my counselling room in Stamford, and online, I regularly work with male clients with difficulties including:
Low Self-esteem
Relationship Issues
Life transitions
Lack of meaning, feeling lost
Childhood related trauma and abuse
Feeling emotionally numb

Why emotional fitness matters, even for men

I'm more than happy working with all genders in my practice, but I wanted a space on my website specifically for men as there are still barriers that prevent them seeking support for psychological pain

Masculinity vs Men

While the general stigma around admitting mental health difficulties is slowly dissolving, for many men it remains potent. Talking about feelings and exploring insecurities are so far removed from the strong, stoical, competitive, always-up-for-a-laugh and cooly rational archetype of a ‘real man’, that many of us hold it all in, hoping those difficult feelings will just go away.

It starts when we are young - from the first time we fall over and are told “big boys don’t cry” men are taught not to feel, not to show vulnerability, not to admit that sometimes, even men don’t feel ‘good enough’. Basically not to do or say anything that challenges the dominant view of acceptable masculinity.

Thinking and Feeling

But whether we like it or not, we humans are all both thinking and feeling beings - we have evolved emotions for a reason, and when we ignore what they are trying to tell us, we suffer. Being born male doesn’t come with a ‘Get Out Of Feelings Free’ card. No matter how hard we try to hold it all in, even deeply buried emotions have a knack of leaking out.

Often this is in the form of anger, one of the few emotions that masculinity deems acceptable. This may explode as rage, seep out as it’s more insidious cousin irritability, or turn inwards, leading to a harsh and self-critical inner voice that tells us we're weak and we need to 'man up'. As we suffer, so do our relationships, and we become increasingly unhappy, dimly aware that someting isn't right but often unable to name what it is.

Uncomfortably Numb

In this effort to cut off from painful emotions, many men turn to numbing behaviours such as mobile phone ‘doom scrolling’, online porn addiction, or compulsive substance abuse. Or to workaholism, that culturally acceptable addiction that so many of us use to avoid other issues in our lives.

Not only are these habits and addictions problematic in themselves, but as the vulnerability researcher Brene Brown puts it, “we can’t selectively numb our emotions”. By trying to avoid painful feelings, we also cut ourselves off from life-affirming emotions such as joy, love, hopefuless and gratitude, the very stuff that makes life worth living. 

So our self-esteem suffers, anxiety increases and for some, burn out and depression follow. Moreover, if we aren’t in touch with our inner self, how can we really know what it would take for life to feel good again?

Emotional Fitness

The good news is that neural plasticity, the brain's ability to rewire itself, continues throughout the lifespan, so there's always hope for change.

To achieve this, we men need to commit to developing our emotional fitness.

By learning to recognise and verbalise our feelings, we gain a greater sense of emotional control and stability. We can develop the capacity to tolerate difficult emotions and soothe our own discomfort, and so become less anxious when they next arise.

In therapy we can understand and possibily even heal the wounds of our pasts and develop an ability to soothe our own emotional discomfort.This helps create more inner space so we can handle new situations without old emotions rushing out as anger.

When we discover that vulnerability doesn't equal weakness, we become more knowable, and so capable of creating closer relationships.

This is the kind of path I've seen many men take in therapy, and one I too have been on for many years. It can be genuinely life-changing, so if you're reading this and any of it feels familar, please consider counselling, suffering in silence is a very lonely place and it's amazing the difference that reaching out can make.

Time for Change?

It really isn’t weak to speak - talking really can and does change lives.
If you're thinking about counselling in Stamford, or by telephone or online,
and would like to take the next step, please email me ,
telephone or text me on 07870 135986,
and I'll get back to you within 24 hours.
We would then arrange a free initial online or telephone consultation where we can work out whether I'd be the right person to support you. If you decide to go ahead, we would then arrange a first session, either in my Stamford counselling room, online or by telephone. 

Get in touch

If you'd like to take the next step, feel free to contact me by phoning or texting 07870 135 986, or by filling in this form to arrange an initial online or telephone chat. This gives us a chance to discuss the reasons you are thinking of coming to therapy, whether it could be helpful for you and whether I am the right therapist to help.

You can also call me on 07870 135 986. If I can't answer, please leave a message with your name and phone number and I'll call back as soon as I can. I am happy to discuss any queries or questions you may have at any stage.

All enquires are usually answered within 24 hours, and all contact is strictly confidential and uses secure phone and email services.

©2022 Andrew Brackenbury

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