Men's Group Therapy Topics For Improving Mental Health

Medically reviewed by April Justice, LICSW
Updated May 21, 2024by BetterHelp Editorial Team
Please be advised, the below article might mention trauma-related topics that include suicide, substance use, or abuse which could be triggering to the reader.
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Men's mental health has become a topic of focus in recent years. However, despite this progress, many men face unique challenges when seeking support and treatment for mental health concerns. Stigma, societal expectations, and difficulty seeking help are a few obstacles men may encounter. 

One approach that has shown promise in addressing these challenges is men's group therapy.

In group therapy, men can find a supportive community, learn new coping strategies, and explore topics that may be difficult to address in individual therapy.

To understand whether group therapy might benefit you, looking at the benefits people often report from this type of treatment can be valuable. 

Wondering which men’s therapy groups are right for you?

Common mental health challenges men may face

Men, women, and gender non-conforming people often have unique mental health needs and may benefit from targeted interventions. Cultural norms, biology, and an individual's experiences can create a unique set of circumstances that may make it challenging to navigate mental health challenges, including the following. 

Stigmas about mental health 

Some men hesitate to seek help or discuss challenges because they fear being perceived as weak, feminine, or non-manly. These stereotypes can be harmful because they can perpetuate the idea that masculinity means rejecting emotional experiences. Studies have found that stigmas for men are one of the leading causes they do not seek help and one of the main priority areas for psychologists to focus on.

Societal expectations and pressures 

Cultural ideas of masculinity may make a man feel that he must be strong, self-sufficient, and in control of his emotions, making it difficult for some to acknowledge and address mental health challenges.

An increased risk of violent crime  

Men may be significantly more likely than others to be survivors of violent crime. This rate rises for those in the LGBTQ+ community or BIPOC men. Such events can lead to the development of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other mental health conditions.

An increased risk of entering the criminal justice system

Men are often more likely than women to engage with the criminal justice system. Mental health challenges can be a causal factor and an effect of incarceration.

Undiagnosed mental health conditions 

Men are often less likely to seek support for mental health challenges and may have undiagnosed mental health conditions that can lead to long-term symptoms if left untreated.

What is men's group therapy?

Group therapy is a form of psychotherapy that involves a group of people coming together to discuss and explore mental health challenges, emotional struggles, and personal experiences in a supportive environment. This format is often led by a licensed therapist who facilitates the conversation and ensures everyone feels comfortable and respected. 

Group therapy may occur in person or online. Men's group therapy may promote healing, personal growth, and overall well-being by providing a safe and non-judgmental space for men to speak openly without fear of judgment. 

Benefits of group therapy for men

Men's group therapy can offer several benefits to participants. Group therapy may be valuable for learning, imparting wisdom, and connecting with others. Below are a few of these benefits. 

Community and connection

Some men participate in group therapy because they benefit from the sense of community provided. It can be common to perceive that one is isolated or disconnected from others when experiencing mental health challenges, and group therapy can help fulfill the need for meaningful conversations. Group therapy can also help men feel they are not alone in their struggles and provide a supportive environment for telling stories and exchanging insights.

Open communication

It may take time and practice to understand one's feelings and learn how to express oneself after living with societal pressures related to masculinity. 

Group therapy offers a space for men to be open and honest about their thoughts, feelings, and experiences without placing pressure on them to talk before they feel ready. A therapist may help men learn helpful language and effective communication strategies while facilitating challenging group discussions.

New perspectives and insights

In group therapy, men can exchange perspectives with other members, which may help them learn how to navigate life's challenges and manage mental health concerns. Hearing others' stories and perspectives can help one better understand one's own experiences, and men's group therapy offers an opportunity for imparting wisdom with those who have had similar experiences. 

Practical advice

Therapists often teach practical advice for men facing specific challenges like substance use or relationship conflict. This advice may be informed by several therapeutic disciplines, including cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), or Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy (REBT), among others. Group members may participate in group activities or discussions to practice newly learned skills.

Common topics in men's group therapy

Some men's therapy groups cover a broad range of mental and emotional well-being concerns. In contrast, other groups may focus more on helping men overcome a particular issue, such as anger or PTSD. Below are a few types of therapy groups you may encounter. 

Anger management

Anger management is a type of therapy aimed at helping clients learn how to control their anger-motivated behaviors and learn effective communication skills. Men who experience frequent rage or are prone to periods of intense emotional sensitivity may benefit from the practical skills taught in anger management sessions.  

Confidence and self-esteem

Men may face challenges related to confidence and self-esteem issues, societal expectations, body image, or other factors. Group therapy can provide a supportive environment where men can work on improving their self-confidence and self-worth. 

Dating and relationships

Group therapy can provide a supportive environment for discussing dating and relationships. Men who have trouble forming and maintaining meaningful relationships may benefit from openly discussing challenges related to romance and intimate relationships without fear of judgment. 

Trauma and abuse

Trauma and abuse can be common focuses of men's therapy groups. Men's group therapy can be helpful for understanding and processing one's experiences. A licensed therapist can offer practical advice and coping strategies for managing trauma-related mental health conditions, including post-traumatic stress disorder.  

Substance use recovery 

Dependency and substance use may also be addressed during group therapy, which has been proven effective for these topics. Men may be more prone to certain types of dependency, like pornography and gambling addictions. Group therapy can help clients address the underlying causes of this pattern and develop healthy coping strategies in their place. 

Depression and anxiety

Depression and anxiety are two of the most common mental health conditions, and group therapy can offer a space for men to discuss their experiences while receiving support from a licensed therapist. A therapist may help by teaching practical skills and guiding meaningful discussions to help men understand and manage their mental health.

How to find men's group therapy 

If you believe you might benefit from connecting with other men through group therapy, you can begin your search online for men's support groups in your area. 

Some national and local mental health organizations can connect you with therapy groups, community centers, and faith communities. If you already attend individual therapy, your therapist may be able to refer you to a men's therapy group or recommend other mental health resources in your area.

Alternative treatment options 

Reaching out for support as a man can be challenging, and you might experience emotions like shame or embarrassment. In these cases, you may benefit from trying an online therapy platform like BetterHelp. 

Attending therapy online can offer several advantages over traditional in-person therapy groups. Virtual therapy is often more affordable than in-person options, and some people enjoy the convenience of attending therapy from home. It may also benefit those with obstacles that make it challenging to attend appointments, like fear of stigma. 

Online therapy has been proven as effective as traditional in-person therapy, so attending therapy online discreetly can allow you to receive the same effectiveness as you might in your area. 

Takeaway

Men's therapy groups can be valuable for men looking to connect and give advice, guidance, and support. To find a men's therapy group, consider searching online or requesting a referral from your primary care physician. You can also try online therapy to get matched with a therapist.
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