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#298079 - 08/05/09 12:01 PM Therapist - male or female?
sono Offline

Registered: 07/19/09
Posts: 1069
Hey guys, I'd like to ask those of you who have been in therapy if you had any thoughts about the pros and cons of a male vs. female therapist. It's a big question as I try to find one.


the family
the perp

#298080 - 08/05/09 12:20 PM Re: Therapist - male or female? [Re: sono]
Jim1961 Offline

Registered: 03/10/09
Posts: 1201
Loc: Pa, but likely traveling...
Good question. My T is female, a great lady. I've opened up completely with her (though struggle with disassociation often). I'm wondering though if a male T might offer different dynamics. Sharing SSA issues for example... Hmmm.


Loneliness is a power that we possess to give or take away forever. -Yes, Starship Trooper

My Story

#298082 - 08/05/09 12:44 PM Re: Therapist - male or female? [Re: Jim1961]
jls Offline

Registered: 03/06/09
Posts: 1142
It is a good question. For me it makes no difference so long as s/he is good at what they do and that we can connect. I would argue though that it must be harder to find a good male therapist due to it being non-traditional work for men. Regrettably as guys we are not raised to put much stock in evaluating thoughts and feelings, not as much as women are anyways. Just my thoughts. JS

Love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.

#298083 - 08/05/09 01:21 PM Re: Therapist - male or female? [Re: jls]
LilacLouie Offline

Registered: 07/02/09
Posts: 377
Loc: Utah
I have had a lot of therapists, and found the most successful to be men. Women therapists tend to minimize what I have been through and focus on what I make of it. In essence, if I quit making a big deal out of it, it's not going to be a problem.

Did I ever tell you guys that I don't like women for a reason? This is one.


#298087 - 08/05/09 02:04 PM Re: Therapist - male or female? [Re: sono]
pseudo Offline

Registered: 04/07/09
Posts: 33
Loc: Wisconsin
I prefer working with males, for the reason that there won't be awkward issues surrounding attraction. It came up with a couple of female therapists in the past, and the first time I just denied it, and the second time it was incredibly awkward and addressing the issue didn't make it go away. With a male therapist, I don't have that distraction, and I can focus on actual therapy. Though there might be value in facing those issues head-on in a therapeutic setting. Especially in my specific situation of having been abused by a girl in a position of authority.

The sun has left the sky, now you can close your eyes, leave all the world behind until tomorrow.

#298097 - 08/05/09 03:15 PM Re: Therapist - male or female? [Re: pseudo]
dark empathy Offline

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 2706
Loc: durham, north england
I'd agree with jls here. my evaluation with the university service was from a great chap, ---- sadly it wasn't him I was seeing.

I will say though that I'd have difficulty if my therapist was in any way young enough for me to even feel a vague attraction to, --- to me that just wouldn't be safe, ---- that's to do with me though, not the way the therapist is.

My current T (who I've got on well with on the couple of occasions I've seen her thus far), is also a great and very streight forward lady, ---- though in her fifties.

#298098 - 08/05/09 03:20 PM Re: Therapist - male or female? [Re: pseudo]
oriolesguy Offline

Registered: 08/13/08
Posts: 124
Loc: Long Island, NY
Good question.... my therapist is a male, and he's a good therapist. I think it's tough for anyone to deal with sex abuse if they haven't been through it or at least trained to deal with it. But I also think that women can be real sensitive to the issue. For them sexual assault always seems to be out there as a possibility, remote though it might be, hopefully. So in one sense they are more aware of it than we are, on the overall. But when a guy goes through sexual assault.... I dunno. Can the male therapist see what the male patient is going through better than a female therapist can? Food for thought.

My wife, as it turns out, is also a therapist, though she knows I am going to someone she does not know. So in a way I have seen both male and female on this one. Right now, my vote is for the male, and my wife is my backup support. She understands the trauma.

Keep in mind, though, that the bottom line is that YOU have to be comfortable with whomever you choose.


Edited by oriolesguy (08/05/09 03:20 PM)

#298109 - 08/05/09 04:18 PM Re: Therapist - male or female? [Re: oriolesguy]
sedanman Offline

Registered: 05/28/09
Posts: 43
Loc: Northeast
I gave no thought to whether I wanted a male or female therapist, I just knew I HAD to start talking to SOMEONE. It turned out that I got a female therapist and am very pleased it worked out that way. I was and to a small extent still am very shy around womem. Saying some of the things I have said to my therapist with her being a woman has helped me open up to womwn in general.

#298155 - 08/05/09 10:45 PM Re: Therapist - male or female? [Re: sedanman]
Casmir213 Offline

Registered: 05/14/09
Posts: 851
Loc: Northeast, USA

For me, my life has always been dominated by my mother. My upbringing was way too onesided. I had way too much mother in my life and hardly no father in my life. Therefore, I've always sought out older males as therapists so that I can sort of work on my father issues and try to get what I didn't get from my father. That's been a theme in my life, even outside of therapy.


I see recovery as a lifelong journey rather than a final destination, a journey, though, which can have many successes along the way.

WoR Alumnus - Hope Springs, OH, October 2009

My avatar is the farmhouse at the Hope Spring, OH WoR. It's a nice place.

#298166 - 08/05/09 11:59 PM Re: Therapist - male or female? [Re: Casmir213]
NatureDrum Offline
New Here

Registered: 12/09/07
Posts: 116

oriolesguy hit it on the head. You basically want to be comfortable with your therapist. Some guys have posted reasons why they aren't comfortable with women and some feel quite natural around them. The same is true with male T's. Who do you think you feel safer with?

Another thing is choosing a therapist isn't a one shot deal. When I chose mine I said if she doesn't work out then I will find someone else. She happens to be a great match for me, but if I get to a spot where she has helped as much as she can I will find someone else if I need to.

Peace to you,

Negotiating the treaty for peace of mind.

My Story

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