Due to the power that men have in our society, many client problems I encounter, involve difficulties in dealing with men and this applies both for my female and male clients. For female clients working with me as a male counsellor can offer you a safe and supportive relationship and the opportunity to repair past experiences. For male clients we can strive to overcome the handicaps that our society places on male patterns of communication through an authentic relationship enabling the exploration of the validity of feelings, needs and male identity.
Gender is the biggest influence on our identity and therefore I offer you two differing descriptions of the benefits of counselling depending if you are a man or a woman!
My female clients typically find it highly beneficial to work with a male counsellor, because of the style of relationship we can create, as it is common for women to have had various challenging relationships with men. In our relationship I forego many for the less helpful masculine traits, the key one being ‘power’, as I actively listen to you and strive to understand your experiences. My female clients find this a somewhat unique, transformational and potentially life changing experience.
I will strive to offer you power in our relationship… so, rather than denying you power or assuming it for myself, you will be enabled to realise that which you need to make your own life choices.
Finally, I will be open and honest with you regarding the diverse feelings you have experienced in you relationships with men; whether: father, brother, boss or partner. This is easier said than done, as it requires me to be able to stay with you as a therapist and help you to positively redefine yourself as a woman.
There are relatively few male counsellors, and even fewer who are fathers. I feel I am able to offer my male clients an extremely non-judgemental relationship. Despite many of the benefits that men have in our society, it seems that many masculine traits are held in poor regard and I believe that I am able to offer my male clients the ability to define themselves in a positive way. Our society’s stereotypes dictate that many male acquaintances and friendships can be rather shallow, avoiding feelings and vulnerabilities; therefore, I feel I am able to offer men the level of authenticity that helps them explore the validity of their feelings and needs.