WTF is talk therapy and why do I need it?
Can talking to an empathetic human once a week change your life? You bet your ass it can. We’ve seen it happen. Here’s how.
How you got here
Loneliness, isolation, and despair are at an all time high in North America. Is it any wonder you feel like shit?
People need connection, purpose, and rest. Our culture asks men to work long hours to grow the bottom line and then come home and stay in touch with our closest friends through an arrangement of pixels on a screen. Then, of course, you throw in a global pandemic. It’s hard not to be depressed in 2021.
Of course, struggle looks different for everyone. It can take a while for guys to recognize something is wrong. Maybe you lost control of your temper. Maybe your daily beer has turned into five or six. Maybe your relationship has gone from John and Yoko to Sid and Nancy.
Whatever your problems are, it can feel like you’re the only person in the world who’s suffering. But you’re not. And there’s an evidence-based path you can follow to feel better
“We live in a world where to admit anything negative about yourself is seen as a weakness, when it’s actually a strength. It’s not a weak move to say, ‘I need help. In the long run it’s way better, because you have to fix it.” – Jon Hamm
How counselling can help
After 10-12 hours of video calls with one of our counsellors, the majority of Manifest clients report feeling less stressed, less anxious, and happier overall. How can talking make such a big difference?
Firstly, the head that got you into this mess isn’t going to get you out of it. You’ve played all your tricks and the game still isn’t going in your favour. It’s time to get another perspective.
It might be tempting to turn to your significant other, your best friend, or a sibling. That’s a good start and, as a society, we need to have way more conversations about mental health. But when things get serious, it’s time to call in the expert. Would you call a friend to set your broken leg?
All of our counsellors have completed master’s degrees as well as honorary diplomas from the School of Hard Knocks. They’ve seen it all and won’t bat an eye at the worst you’ve got to offer. They’ll create a space for you to just be you.
We all have personas that we put on in different settings—the diligent professional, the fun-loving friend, the caring partner, etc. Therapy gives you the chance to drop all those masks and spend an hour with no other focus but caring for you.
Your counsellor will analyze your presenting problem and determine where it comes from. They’ll then ask probing questions to help you gain insight into your mind and ultimately, break painful patterns and lead a more purposeful, mindful life.
Part of breaking those patterns is about changing the way you respond to your inner critic. You know, the one that tells you you’ll never be good enough and might as well stay home, watch TV, and eat two pizzas. After spending time with your counsellor and hearing their positive, empathetic response to your deep, dark thoughts, you will eventually internalize that voice. On a tough day, you’ll be able to ask yourself “What would my counsellor say?” and weigh that answer against the inner critic.
Lastly, having a counsellor gives you one relationship in your life that you can trust and rely on. A lot of us never had that growing up and it’s brutally hard to build healthy relationships with no blueprint. Your counsellor will interact with you like an adult, which means no shouting, no complaining, and no running away. In turn, they’ll expect you to do the same and call you out when you snap, avoid the tough stuff, or talk back like a kid being sent to timeout. In short, they’ll give you the blueprint.
It doesn’t take just one crisis, but two or three for most men to realize they need help. Why? Because boys don’t cry. Or so we’ve been told.
The problem is that life is rough and it’s only natural to feel sad, pissed off, and worried sometimes. If you don’t have the tools to deal with difficult emotions, you’ll turn to the easy answers—exploding, imploding, drugs, alcohol, food, video games, porn, gambling, TV, fill in the blank.
You deserve better tools. We’d love to give them to you.