As stated in the previous blogpost, finding a therapist that works best for you is attributed to higher success in therapy. That being said, there is an elephant in the hypothetical room: gender bias.
It’s common to assume what to expect when working with a female therapist, but working with a male therapist is often trekking into more unknown territory. Uncertainty and predetermined assumptions can sometimes push us towards a female therapist, with little recognition that the decision is being made from a place of prejudice. Male therapists are both helpful and appropriate for clients of all ages, and they often provide a different experience than their female counterparts.
What About my Child?
By choosing a male therapist for your child, you are opening up your child to having a male role model who shows both emotional intelligence and vulnerability. The importance for a child to have a male role model who shows comfort in expressing emotions externally is invaluable, particularly for young men who find emotional expression to be difficult. Working with a male allows children the opportunity to practice asking and receiving help from m
Male clinicians can provide the same space for modeling vulnerability for adults, with some added perks. While you always want to make a decision regarding who you work with based off of what works best for you (see the previous post), consider these when deciding whether or not seeing a male clinician is for you.
Working with a male clinician allows for the opportunity to provide the male perspective in the counseling space. Expectations and assumptions shape many people’s view of others and the world- we often assume that other people feel and think the same way that we do. Receiving feedback from the male perspective in a safe space allows these assumptions to be challenged and can facilitate a more balanced understanding of the world.
I just don’t know if I will feel safe.
What if a male hurt me?
If you’re working through abuse perpetrated by a man, working with a male can provide a corrective experience. By having a male support you and validate your experience, the healing process of your trauma can be impacted differently than if you worked solely with a woman. This relationship can serve as a model moving forward.
I’m a Man. I’ve always found women easier to talk too…
One of the most common responses when asked if a male will consider working with another man as a clinician is that men “don’t want to talk about their feelings with another guy.” I challenge you to be open-minded to the thought that working with a man gives you the opportunity to work with someone with a similar life experience as you. While it is not required for your clinician to have experienced the same problems as you, it can be beneficial to work with someone with shared life experience.
While men and women receive the same training and education, the therapeutic journey can be altered based on gender. Check your bias and really consider whether your healing could benefit from a different perspective.