A specialist area of interest of mine – which I have conducted academic research on – is men’s relationships with their masculinity and body image (thoughts, feelings and perceptions you may have in relation to your body). This may then go on to influence the development of a negative body image or factors relating to the development of an eating disorder such as low self-esteem. The societal and cultural expectations placed upon modern day women is widely discussed in the media and online however these discussions about men are less visible and audible.
I believe understanding how men make sense of their individual masculinity goes hand in hand with how they relate to their bodies and that this will be a key feature in our work together. Men are often raised with the idea that having a stiff upper lip and coping with emotional difficulties is the best way of dealing with difficulty. Therefore seeking help can often be framed by men as breaking away from this style of coping. Instead this should be viewed as developing an alternative, healthier more positive way of coping. Therapy is often a key way to learn to cope with and develop strategies to express emotions in a healthier manner.