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Relationship Counseling

Is Everyone—Including Yourself—Asking Too Much Of You?

Do you struggle to feel like you’re enough? Are you constantly worried about whether or not you’ll disappoint those around you? Has the expectation to be “strong” and “manly” caused you to feel exhausted, frustrated, and disconnected from your true feelings? Men experience unique pressures when it comes to performance—whether at work, at home, or in the bedroom. Instead of feeling confident or vulnerable with emotions, many men detach from their feelings, thereby detaching from those around them. For Black men, in particular, there are even more pressures around being stoic, strong, and resilient. With all of these demands, it can be difficult to maintain healthy relationships with ourselves and others.  Without realizing it, relational issues have a way of affecting every area of life. You may struggle with hypervigilance or anxiety due to wanting to appear a certain way—unable to let your guard down, even with those closest to you. And without being able to meaningfully connect, you might feel lonely, depressed, and unfulfilled.  Therapy is a place where you can simply be and not have to worry about being judged or rejected. And through Therapy For Black Men, you can find a supportive, empathetic counselor who will help you reconnect in all of your relationships, including the one you have with yourself.

Society Perpetuates Toxic Masculinity And Performance Anxiety, Especially Among Communities Of Color

Oftentimes, men—Black men especially—are socialized to believe that their performance is inextricably tied up with their identity. In other words, we are conditioned to believe that we are only worthy of love and affirmation when we are “succeeding” in society’s definition of manhood.  So, what does that definition of manhood look like? Typically, it looks like emotional detachment, toughness in the face of adversity, and always providing for others—no matter the circumstances. This creates an unhealthy mindset at work, home, and within our relationships, equating performance with progress.  From this perspective, relationships are naturally impacted. Instead of viewing intimate connections—whether with partners, family, or friends—as supportive or enriching, it’s easy to develop a transactional mindset that essentially boils down to “an eye for an eye.” It’s no wonder that men can often be categorized as having issues with intimacy and emotional vulnerability. Unfortunately, this very same mindset is what often prevents men from seeking counseling to improve their outlook and relationships. Instead of acknowledging the strength and self-awareness it takes to ask for help, therapy is often viewed as an intervention for the weak or incompetent. Moreover, in systemically marginalized BIPOC communities, our thoughts, feelings, and worries are often disregarded, further preventing us from seeking help.  Therapy For Black Men was created as a gateway to effective, empathetic mental health support for a community of individuals whose needs are chronically overlooked in our society. Our database has hundreds of therapists of color available to help Black men overcome the hurdles associated with constantly striving to perform.

How Does Individual Counseling Heal Your Relationships?

Relationship counseling is not just about improving your partnership—it’s about fostering more self-compassion and self-acceptance so that you can finally feel like you are enough in all areas of life. Our relationship therapists are available to work with men on an individual basis, in couples or family counseling, or within a “coaching” framework to enhance your motivation for change. Whatever your relational needs are, we partner with skilled, culturally competent clinicians who will tailor treatment to your unique goals.

What To Expect

To get started, we invite you to contact us to learn more about the therapists we partner with and how relationship counseling might be beneficial to you. You can find out more about the clinicians we partner with by searching our database and reading about counselors who can help.  Though each clinician takes their own approach to counseling, you’re likely to explore the gender roles you’ve been conditioned to as a Black man, unaddressed trauma from your past, and unprocessed pain that is showing up as depression, anxiety, or relationship problems. Instead of looking to the old, unhealthy coping mechanisms that numb discomfort—including substance abuse, people-pleasing, or passive-aggressive behaviors—you’ll learn new ways of relating to yourself and the world around you.  Because our counselors tend to use strength-based perspectives in therapy, you will learn more about the innate gifts and skills you have to combat feelings of unworthiness. Asking yourself, “How do I want to feel at the end of today?” will encourage being and not just doing, allowing you to magnify the activities, relationships, and values that enhance your life. You are not a victim of the pain you’ve endured; you are a survivor of it.  The more you can practice reframing the belief that your self-worth and identity are tied up with your ability to perform, you can begin to give yourself permission to see yourself differently. As your relationship with yourself improves in counseling, you’ll start to notice other improvements in your life, including within your closest, most intimate connections.  At Therapy For Black Men, we understand that in order to overcome the expectation to always be successful, you must first give yourself permission—permission to rest, heal, and reconnect in your relationships through counseling.

Still Not Sure If Relationship Counseling Is Right For You?

Therapy is too expensive.

Mental health counseling is an investment in yourself and a better experience of life. Therapy For Black Men provides sponsorship for free counseling for clients nationwide, and many of the providers we work with offer insurance. 

It’s my job to fix my relationships—I don’t need therapy.

You are already enough, and you don’t have to shoulder heavy burdens alone. As a Black man, you have been conditioned to perform, fix, and rescue, but a therapist can help you unlearn false, damaging narratives. Our counselors will work with your strengths to foster skills for enhancing your relationships and overall daily functioning. 

Burnout is a sign of weakness.

Rest is a human right. Feeling maxed out, you probably aren’t enjoying downtime, leisurely activities, or time with loved ones. Therapy is an opportunity to get your energy back as you feel supported and encouraged to create healthy boundaries in your life, which will, in turn, improve your mental health and relationships.

You Are Enough

If the pressure to perform in every area of life has compromised your mental health and relationships, Therapy For Black Men partners with BIPOC counselors across the country who can help you develop new ways of relating to yourself. Find out more by looking through our therapist directory.
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