All posts by Howard Todd-Collins

About Howard Todd-Collins

Grad.Dip.Couns.HS, M.Couns.HS, Counsellor/Psychotherapist, Consultant MACA Howard is the director and owner of Men and Relationships Counselling. He passionately believes that given the right space and environment, men open up and talk about their lives in a way that empowers them to take steps to change. He has a strong connection to the growth of men, with over 15 years experience in designing individual and group programs for men and fathers as well as facilitating human relations groups. Go to > http://menandrelationships.com.au/about-us/consultants/ and Learn About Our Consultants – What We Do And Why

Feelings

How do men feel about their feelings?

Let’s talk about men’s feelings!

Oh no! Not some mushy blog about feelings!

I can almost hear the collective groan of men who would prefer to steer away and go back to their screen!

Stay with me! Don’t go! Hear me out!

It’s difficult, sometimes awkward, I know!

You may be surprised to hear that most blokes get comfortable very quickly when invited to describe their feelings.  They even surprise themselves!

The conversation about feelings helps to make sense of a man’s mental health and relationship health.

However, it’s not as ‘warm and fuzzy’ as it may seem!

How would you or a man in your life respond to this question?

How do you feel about your feelings? 

It is an odd question!

Often men, and women, struggle to makes sense of this question! It appears difficult to answer let alone how it’s relevant!

I ask it because the answers create a shape of a person’s view of their emotional life.

This, in turn, will determine the degree of emotional acceptance so important in good mental and emotional wellbeing.

Men in particular have some complicated reactions to their feelings.

Particularly the negative ones.

Men's Emotions

The consequence of these reactions is that men push down or push away their emotional life.

It can be so confusing to find language for feelings, that guys give up and distract themselves.

Some men get really stuck in negative patterns and close off.

Too many men escape, avoid or deny feelings.
As a result, certain kinds of destructive behaviour combined with high levels of stress, anxiety and depression can overwhelm them.

The most revealing and exciting parts of inviting men to engage in questions about feelings is their relief at being able to talk without fear of judgement.

When a man’s reaction to his feelings are shared in confidence his heart opens and wellbeing begins to improve.

He feels:

  • Understood
  • Lighter
  • Calmer
  • Relaxed
  • Less burdened
  • Relief
  • Heard
  • Accepted
  • Ready to learn new skills to take care of himself.

How do you react to your feelings?

Men's Anger

What’s hiding under men’s anger?

Do you know which are the most commonly recognised emotions for many men?

It’s frustration and anger.

When I consult with blokes, many present their first emotional responses to a myriad of challenges in life. Often it’s expression of frustration and anger.

Men talk about a variety of issues in counselling such as:

  • Losing a parent
  • A rude boss
  • Tiredness
  • Caring for elderly parents
  • Ongoing physical Injury
  • Recurring physical illness
  • Diagnosis of Mental illness
  • Parenting
  • Managing divorce and separation
  • Negotiating access to kids
  • A bully at work
  • Frequent relationship conflict
  • Loss of intimacy
  • Struggling with fatherhood
  • Unrealistic demands at work
  • Their commute to work
  • Missing out on a promotion
  • Driving
  • Time for self
  • Infidelity and betrayal
  • Financial problems
  • Lack of confidence

Does ‘frustration’ and ‘anger’ alone sum up the full experience of these significant problems?

I think it’s only half the emotional story!

Whilst feeling frustrated or angry is a recurring part of a man’s emotional repetoire, there are many guys who feel a little short changed when it comes to making sense of their problems though these feelings alone.

This is because being frustrated and angry is rarely enough to soothe the pain.
Most importantly,  these feelings can add more shame, and then more frustration and anger!

Other feelings often accompany frustration and anger. They bubble away under the surface. However, they need more attention.

Recognising the underlying feelings behind frustration and anger significantly helps men heal their wounds.

What’s underneath your frustration or anger?

There are many possibilities. Below are a few.

Men's Anger

It may seem a tad daunting looking at the list above.

Do you notice how these feelings are kind of ‘layered’?

When you’re feeling frustrated or angry check in with what else is going on underneath.

Struggling with any of this?

Give me a call.

Deborah Albrecht

Deborah works with men and women providing client centred individual counselling – working with narrative, art therapy, emotion focused therapy and mindfulness.

Deborah holds a Bachelor of Arts in Drama and Psychology, a Bachelor of Education, a Diploma in Transpersonal Art Therapy.

She is also trained in Emotion Focused Therapy, Psychodrama and Mindfulness.

She has an extensive background in teaching as well as a busy private therapy practice. She has worked as an art therapist in community based programs for at risk youth, as well as created and co-facilitated programs specifically for adolescents and their parents.

Deborah’s own search for meaning as a parent, partner, teacher and therapist has given her a passion for healthy human development across the various life stages and life changes.

Her deep appreciation of the human condition means she holds a reverence and wonder for the striving and creativity of the human spirit and the capacity in each of us to grow and overcome adversity.

Deborah divides her time between her private practice, teaching, facilitating groups and continuing her own professional development.

Deborah Consults in Mentone