Counselling as a Career for Men
Supporting the mental health and wellbeing of others has never had so much media coverage. Embarking on a career as a counsellor is a learning journey of self-discovery for many women. The same opportunities are open to men looking to diversify careers and train as a counsellor. The Counselling Foundation explore why becoming a counsellor isn’t a career just for women.
In the UK more men under the age of 45 are at risk of taking their own lives through suicide each year, three times more than women. Suicide remains the most common cause of death for men aged 20-49 in the UK.
Talking about problems with someone or seeking the help of a counsellor could be the lifesaving answer needed for so much unnecessary loss of life. Emma Branch, Foundation CEO, commented “One barrier to men seeking support can be “the ‘man up’ attitudes of older male generations that still exist along with traditional ideas of masculinity”.
- Men are less likely to access psychological therapies than women. Only 36% of referrals to IAPT (Increasing Access to Psychological Therapies) are men.
- Inactive men are 60% more likely to suffer from depression than those who are active.
- Suicide is the single most common cause of death in men under 45 in the UK.
- 87% of rough sleepers are men (Reference: Crisis).
- Relationship breakdowns are more likely to lead men, rather than women, to suicide.
- Men are much less likely than women to have a positive view of counselling or therapy, and when they do use these services, it is at the point of crisis.
CEO, Emma Branch said “The knowledge and relationship skills acquired through counselling training is a rewarding career choice that can make a genuine difference to people”.
Once men overcome their reluctance to seek help if they are feeling anxious, depressed or facing life changing events, it can sometimes be a male counsellor they would prefer to share their emotions with rather than a female counsellor. This can be due to the perception that a male counsellor might be able to better understand and relate to the struggles of being a man and society’s pressure for men to be physically and emotionally strong as well as successful. However, this is not always the case as some men feel more comfortable speaking to a female counsellor because they don’t want to admit that they are depressed to another man.
It is encouraging that due to increased social media awareness campaigns and celebrities opening up, that times are changing, and men are feeling empowered to come forward and seek therapy.
Out of 40,000 counsellors registered with the British Association of Counselling and Psyychotherapy (BACP) only 20% are male. As one of the largest providers of psychodynamic counselling training in the South East, the Foundation are striving to redress the balance and encourage more men into psychodynamic counselling. We run part time counselling training courses, including their Foundation Certificate in psychodynamic counselling skills in addition to short courses for areas such as active listening and maintaining safe, emotional boundaries.