COUNSELING MEN

Man Thinking of Men's Issues While Planning Future Overlooking Lake and Mountains
Man Thinking While Overlooking Lake and Mountains

7 Men's Issues for Counseling Men

© 2019 Richard Chandler, MA, LPC, Masters in Psychotherapy, Licensed Professional Counselor

I specialize in individual counseling therapy and life coaching with men in St Cloud, MN. Working with a counseling therapist who understands men's issues is more helpful than working with a therapist who has more difficulty understanding your perspective.

Men can be reluctant to work with a talk therapist. Often men expect this dreaded question: "How does that make you feel?" It is not a question that I ask.

It Isn't Just About Your Feelings

There is more to working with a counseling therapist than talking about your feelings. In addition to the emotional ways we experience our lives, we also have our thoughts, our wants, our beliefs, our actions, and our inactions. All are vital to clearly understanding where we are today and the direction we might take for our future.

Our emotions are a significant part of the mix, too, and we explore how they relate to the ways we have experienced difficulties in our past. Our emotional feelings give us insights into orienting us towards an ideal direction in our future. The point here is that talking about our feelings is not always the central aspect of counseling therapy. To change disempowering patterns in your life, I seek to understand the root contributing factors. Those areas could include intimacy, anger, and misunderstood communications.

Troubled Man with ADHD ADD Sitting in Old Building

1. Deciding to Stay or Leave Your Marriage or Romantic Relationship

I help men gain insight and perspective when their current marriage or romantic partnership is no longer happily working. Are you struggling in a friendship starved, low sex, or sexless marriage? Are you and your spouse enduring silent treatment, hurtful arguing, and anger? Can this be turned around?

We explore how men are relating to their spouses. Is it fair, is it healthy, and do you function as equals? Is it normal for your mate or you to be less interested in romance, sex, and friendship?

Although it is a sign of health for both men and women to spend time with their friends, are other relationships placed ahead of your marriage partnership?

I go into the history of your relationship to explore your relationship difficulties. To what are those difficulties possibly due? Could it be the man's skill in communicating? Could there be an imbalance of power in the relationship?

Also, to what extent is my client's unhappiness is due to intractable personality dysfunction in his romantic partner? Men have sought me out to gain clarity before they decide to either stay in the relationship or part ways with their significant other or spouse.

Happy Central MN Married Couple Laughing at Together with Improved Marriage

How Marriage Counselors & Therapists Decide On Individual vs. Couples Counseling

During our 1st session, you may wish to explore whether or not you want to do couples counseling. If the answer is yes, and you want to continue with me as your counselor for individual counseling, I will help you find another couples counselor. If you would like me to be your couples counselor, I will no longer also serve as your therapist for individual counseling.

To be your marriage therapist, I ask that your wife or romantic partner to explore what it might be like to work with me in marriage therapy. We do this by having a phone conversation.

For the first couples counseling session, I will meet with your spouse individually for the first part of that session. Doing so balances out the time I devoted to meeting with each of you on your own. When bringing both of you together, I may share some of what each of you shared with me.

Woman Intimately Embracing Husband after Successful Therapy
Woman Embracing her Husband

2. Relationship Connection as Emotional Intimacy

Do you find it difficult to connect to your mate, your kids, or other significant people in your life? Have you been told that you are "distant" or heard similar words? Has your mate or family members suggested that your level of care and connection is lacking and falling short of meeting the emotional needs of your loved ones? Feedback along these lines is a common men's issue that can improve over time with talk therapy. Gaining emotional connection will increase happiness in your present relationship to be more fulfilling for both of you.

CULTURAL & FAMILY BELIEFS ABOUT MASCULINITY CAN BE RIGID

What often is behind a man's difficulty with emotionally connecting with others are cultural beliefs about masculinity. Those beliefs may be stereotypical and overly rigid. In what ways might your own cultural and family's beliefs be affecting your success in connecting more closely and effectively with your loved ones?

As an adult, you have the opportunity, and personal responsibility, to identify those beliefs and decide which ones serve you and which ones do not serve you, your mate, your kids, your parents or other people who are central to your life.

Beliefs Installed Since Childhood vs. Beliefs that You Consciously Choose

The therapy process for increasing relationship connection entails sifting through your current installed beliefs and to identify disempowering those ways of thinking and believing. As you let go of overly rigid beliefs, you create room to choose different ideas that make the best sense to you now as a thinking adult. Doing so leads to a much happier life that is connected more deeply to your loved ones rather than continuing to allow unexamined beliefs installed in you as a child to rule your life.

Husband and Wife in Intimate Embrace

3. Satisfying Sexual Intimacy by Letting Go of Performance Anxiety

Performance anxiety can be an aspect of overall anxiety. Men can have too much of their awareness in their mental processes monitoring how they are performing sexually rather than letting go of their thinking process concerns and simply enjoying the physical experience of sexual intimacy and connection with their sex partner.

PERFECTIONISM, ANXIETY & SEXUAL CHALLENGES FOR MEN

Because I am not trained as a sex therapist, I refer people to their medical professionals or a sex therapy specialist in cases of more deep-seated difficulties of impotence. Many times impotency can be successfully addressed by working with the man's tendency towards perfectionism.

Over-concern with sexual performance is a symptom of too much of the man's energy being deployed in his thoughts. Not enough energy or awareness is left for him to tune into his romantic partner and simply relax into the pleasure of physical sexual sensation.

Man and Woman Couple on Beach in Sexual Kiss and Embrace

Sexual Difficulties May be Contributed to by Mental Processes

In other words, sexual difficulties, in the absence of physical barriers or more deep-seated sexually specific problems, often have less to do with serious sexual dysfunction than with how a man manages his awareness and energy.

It also has a great deal to do with more overall beliefs in perfection as an ideal that must be pursued. As we examine a man's unproductive allegiance to perfection, men can arrive at a new understanding of the many situations in life where pursuing some ideal is not productive. By letting go of thinking about sexual performance in the bedroom, while engaged in sex, impotence difficulties may resolve.

Angry man in need of anger management in St Cloud, MN

4. Learn How to Manage Anger In Your Life

Are you frequently upset and find yourself frustrated and angry? Is anger damaging your relationships? I have an approach to anger management that helps you stop expressing frustration as an angry outburst. In therapy, we will explore the valid and perhaps less valid triggers to angry outbursts.

You will learn ways to express your thoughts and emotions more skillfully without having to become triggered by anger reactions. For more information about our approach for communicating without getting mad, please see the following link on this website: on effective individual therapy for anger management.

Sartell MN couple-holding-hands-outdoors

5. Easier & Clearer Communication

Men often feel outclassed by women in the arena of communications. Men frequently say "the wrong thing," but not know it until after their words negatively impact the other person. Men often compensate by being overly guarded in their communications with women.

Have you had similar experiences with your communications? You can gain some easy-to-learn ways of enhancing your communication skills through counseling. Ineffective communication is a widespread men's issue that can improve quite quickly with coaching and counseling therapy. I have helped men to learn new communication skills that allowed them to significantly enhance their connection to their mates, their friends, their family members, and their work associates.

Because this is individual therapy (although I also help men with their communication skills when they are in couples counseling), the skills identified and ways of working with those communication tools will be specific to you rather than generic. Text or call at 320-223-9481 to learn more about improving your relationships through individual counseling therapy.

Bearded Man in Midlife Transformation on a Beach

6. What is Midlife Transition for Men?

Midlife Crisis starts with internal feelings of unceratainty

It is common for men who are growing in awareness to begin to feel uncertain of their current life direction. Midlife transition, (often referred to as a midlife crisis), most often occurs between a man's mid to late 30's and mid to late 40's. When a midlife transition is not recognized and thoughtfully addressed it can take the form of a more stereotypical midlife crisis.

You may have seen the crisis kind happen with others. The man may suddenly ditch his wife and family as a result of entering into an affair. There is is a new sports car or motorcycle. His new romantic fling is almost always a lot younger. Moreover, all of it ends rather quickly. What remains is shattered relationships. The man who went down the path of a midlife crisis can be left feeling more isolated and lonely compared to a man who can enter into a more thoughtful mid-life transition.

For most men, it begins with a sense that their career success, financial progress as well as their current romantic partnership and family success are no longer giving them as much of a feeling of satisfaction and happiness. It is like something is missing but without a strong sense of what exactly it is that they feel a lack of in their life.

For many men, it is a time of uncertainty that can be summed up in an expression I heard from my career mentor, Kirk Lamb, Ph.D. He said mid-life often is like this:  "I climbed the ladder of success only to find that when I got to the top, it was leaning against the wrong building."

We may have already achieved a successful middle-class or even upper-middle-class life, but it no longer feels like it is enough. In a man's efforts to escape this empty feeling, he may, like many men, work very long and hard to increase the size of his financial house dedicating himself to achieving his next level up into upper-middle-class life or even into a life of wealth. For a time, this pursuit may distract a man from his troubling inner feelings.

However, for most men, this "having even more" approach does not fill the emptiness that they feel inside. More often, it is something else that is calling. More prestige, wealth and lavish material things still fail to satisfy.
What is calling men from their emptiness is comes from the inside, not the outside world.

That "something" calling from within a man's inner depth is his creative forces. Those forces could be the more artistic or entrepreneurial aspects of his being. Those creative forces perhaps have been underutilized or have even been wholly unrecognized up until the time of a man's midlife. Working effectively with midlife transition involves getting in touch with those aspects of a man's life and curiously exploring the specific creative interests that he wishes to develop.

Man Thinking about How Counseling Therapy Helped His Life

However, for most men, this "having even more" approach does not fill the emptiness that they feel inside. More often, it is something else that is calling. More prestige, wealth and lavish material things still fail to satisfy.
What is calling men from their emptiness is comes from the inside, not the outside world.

That "something" calling from within a man's inner depth is his creative forces. Those forces could be the more artistic or entrepreneurial aspects of his being. Those creative forces perhaps have been underutilized or have even been wholly unrecognized up until the time of a man's midlife. Working effectively with midlife transition involves getting in touch with those aspects of a man's life and curiously exploring the specific creative interests that he wishes to develop.

There is one more critical component of mid-life transition. It is our mortality and the certainty that death will come for us too. The worst that can happen ultimately does happen to all of us. Since none of us escapes from growing older or remains alive without dying, why play such a conservative game?

During the time of mid-life, men commonly have an awakening that can motivate them to reorganize their lives in creative and unanticipated ways. In essence, our impending death advises us on what is truly important for living our lives with a deeper meaning based on discovering what is critically important for us in the second part of our lives.

In my counseling work with men's midlife issues, I help my male clients take a critical look at their present careers and options for new careers. As a result of career exploration, men often stay in their current career and job for the time being. When that is the case, men commonly use after-work time to take up new hobbies and explore interests that were important at an earlier time in their lives. A man's hobbies or personal passions may eventually grow into a side business.

On the other hand, It is also common for the men that I counsel choose to take up a new career. Within a counseling therapy session, men discuss the full range of career options available to them and how those options fulfill them internally.

I do a good deal of career consulting and executive coaching, so we can explore the practical consideration of making a career change as well as the more internal factors. Through counseling therapy, men can strategically navigate through midlife with increased "life meaning," and greater certainty for arriving at a more fulfilled second half of life.

Young Man Thinking of His Counseling Therapy Session While Walking On a Beach

7. How May ADD/ADHD, Attention Deficit, be Positively Transformed?

Please click on this link to my  website page devoted to how Attention Deficit, ADD & ADHD, with a hyperactive factor, can be positively transformed in a man's life.

Please contact me for a "no cost" phone consult to ask any questions about what it might be like to work together in my Chandler Counseling & Consulting - St Cloud, MN office. 320-223-9481 or by email at richardjchandler@gmail.com. Please note that I also work with clients in Minnesota for counseling therapy and life coaching or nationally for life and executive coaching via video conferencing.

Thank you,

Richard Chandler, MA, LPC

* Telephone and video conferencing sessions may be arranged if there is a barrier to meeting face-to-face. Although we do not accept insurance, our rates are very affordable. We have a sliding fee scale with reasonable minimums. We do not ask financial questions to qualify for our sliding fee scale. You simply choose the amount that is comfortable for you and your budget.

* We Welcome & Affirm LGBTQ Clients.  

* We respectfully serve African-American Clients   Click Here for Driving Directions

HOURS:
Monday 8:30AM–6:30PM
Tuesday 8:30AM–6:30PM
Wednesday 8:30AM–6:30PM
Thursday 8:30AM–6:30PM
Friday 8:30AM–6:30PM
Saturday 8:30AM–12PM
Sunday Closed
TELEPHONE:

(320)223-9481

ADDRESS :

Chandler Counseling & Consulting - St Cloud, MN
Richard Chandler, MA, LPC

1204 7th St S
St Cloud, MN 56301

Our office building is just south of Tech High School and overlooks Lake George. Parking is very near our building for clients both in the back and the side of our building.

This is also the office of our business consulting service, Strategic Leadership Consultants of MN