Dynamic Psychotherapy

Dynamic Psychotherapy is a Melbourne Psychology Practice with an ISTDP focus

Counselling for Men

Navigating the Path to Emotional Well-Being

Men’s Mental Health in the 21st Century

Navigating mental health as a man in the 21st Century can be complicated. What should you feel emotionally, what are you allowed to feel emotionally and what emotions are you allowed to express? These are all questions that most men have asked ourselves at different points in time. Feeling anger is good, but showing anger externally is bad, Being told to be emotionally vulnerable whilst simultaneously being told to toughen up, caring, but not too much. What a complex world we live in. The current generation we live in is a generation of shifting roles and a changing understand of what a man’s role is in society and family.

After 10,000 years as the bread winner in both society and family, men’s roles are rapidly changing. No longer do we have to (hopefully) fight to protect our family or hunt for our food. All of a sudden, the aggression that allowed our genetics to survive for the last 10,000 years is largely obsolete and frowned upon in society.

Traditional roles men previously filled are also largely obsolete, replaced by modern technology. Whilst this is a great development for us longer term, in the shorter term as men’s new roles are being defined, we can face some uncertainty.

The rise of social media, and the move away from smaller community focused groups over the last 60 years, centered around church and sporting events has also created isolation, leaving some men feeling alone without a peer support group to talk through problems and questions whether they be trivial or critical.

Change, while often positive can lead to mental health suffering due the uncertainty it creates.

In Australia, recent statistics paint a bleak picture of men’s mental health. Reports indicate a higher prevalence of mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and suicide among men compared to women. These statistics are compounded by the fact that men are less likely to seek professional help for mental health issues.

This reluctance is often fueled by societal and cultural norms that have long dictated a stoic, self-reliant masculine ideal, dissuading men from acknowledging their mental health struggles.

Here at Dynamic Psychotherapy our team helps men navigate these complexities, both through therapy and through life coaching. We are here to help you.

Read on to learn more about some of the problems and issues affecting men that we commonly help with at Dynamic Psychotherapy.

Some of our Men’s Therapists

We have a team of Men’s Psychologists, Counsellors and Therapists ready to help you transform your mindset. Click on a therapist to view more.
Psychologist Jesse Muscatello working from Carlton, Melbourne

Jesse M


Psychologist Claudio Donisi

Claudio Donisi

Senior Psychologist

Counsellor David Temme

David Temme


Click the button below to view all of our team

Request an Appointment today

Ready to book? Use our secure Intake form, and we will get back to you within one business day. We have appointments available now.

Anxiety Counselling for Men

Anxiety is a natural and common emotional response characterised by feelings of tension, worry, and physical changes such as increased heart rate and sweating. It is an integral part of the human ‘fight or flight’ response, designed to prepare the body to face perceived threats or challenges. Typically, anxiety is triggered by stressors, which can range from immediate physical dangers to an emotional response to conflictual interpersonal situations.

Biologically, the anxiety response involves the release of stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol, preparing the body to either confront or avoid the threat.  While in moderation, anxiety can be beneficial, enhancing alertness and performance in stressful situations, it becomes problematic when it is disproportionate to the actual threat, persistent, and starts interfering with daily functioning. Excessive or chronic anxiety can lead to a range of issues, including physical discomfort, difficulties with concentration, attention and memory, impaired decision-making, and distressing physical symptoms such as nausea, pain or bloating in the stomach, diarrhoea or constipation, and other symptoms that can severely impact one’s quality of life.

Research suggests that male experiences and expressions of anxiety are influenced by masculine norms such as stoicism, toughness, and invulnerability, which inform their help-seeking and coping behaviours (Fisher et al., 2022). Additionally, research has indicated that men may experience heightened feelings of anxiety when their sense of masculinity is threatened, suggesting that these norms play a role in shaping men’s experiences of anxiety (Iwamoto et al., 2012).

Targeted therapy can help anxiety by identifying the triggers for distressing levels of anxiety, building capacity to face feelings and use them adaptiavely in relationships rather than being blighted by the high anxiety that they can trigger, and learning to regulate anxiety to keep it within an optimal range.

Anxiety counselling offers significant benefits for men, particularly in navigating societal expectations and cultural conditioning that often discourage the expression of vulnerability. Men are frequently pressured to appear strong and in control, leading many to suppress or ignore symptoms of anxiety. Counselling provides a confidential and non-judgmental space where men can openly discuss their fears and worries. This process helps in identifying and articulating emotions, a crucial step often hindered by societal norms that discourage emotional expression in men. Additionally, counselling introduces healthier coping mechanisms. Men who might otherwise turn to substance abuse or exhibit aggression as a response to anxiety learn more constructive strategies like mindfulness, relaxation techniques, and effective problem-solving. This integrated approach not only addresses the immediate symptoms of anxiety but also fosters long-term emotional resilience and self-awareness, crucial for mental well-being.


John, a 40-year-old manager, starts experiencing overwhelming anxiety following his promotion, leading to sleep issues and impaired performance at work. His constant worry about making mistakes and meeting expectations manifests in physical symptoms like insomnia and high blood pressure, and behaviourally through overworking and avoidance of critical tasks.

In anxiety counselling, John learns to identify the interpersonal conflicts that are activated by receiving a promotion, to understand specifically what is triggering high anxiety, and to develop greater emotional capacity to face feelings and use them adaptively, rather than suffering from the anxiety they can trigger.   He learns more effective interpersonal communication, he sets healthier boundaries, and he works more effectively without being hampered by high anxiety.  Relaxation techniques can be a useful adjunct to therapy.  The increased capacity and resilience that John develops helps him to operate more effectively in the workplace and generalises to his other relationships leading to increased personal well-being.  

Anger Management Counselling

Anger is a natural and necessary emotion, serving as a fundamental aspect of the human experience. It functions as a protective mechanism, alerting us to perceived threats, injustices, or boundary violations, and often mobilises us to address these issues. This emotion can also signify deep care or commitment, highlighting what we value or are passionate about, such as reacting with anger to social injustices because of a deep-seated belief in fairness and equality. Physically, anger manifests through a rush of adrenaline, causing sensations like elevated heart rate, muscle tension, and a burst of energy.  Emotionally, anger ranges from mild irritation to intense fury, often focusing our attention on the source of the anger.

While anger itself in a healthy emotion, the way that we act on our anger, particularly when anger triggers anxiety, may be problematic.   If we feel anger without excessive anxiety, it enables us to remain calm, clear, and assertive.   This emotional response is crucial for communication, signalling to others our feelings and needs, and prompting action, making it an indispensable aspect of human interaction and personal development.  However, if anger causes high anxiety, it may come out in harmful verbal or physical aggression, or may be turned inwards with critical thoughts, symptoms in the body, and depression.

For men, anger can become problematic when it is experienced too intensely or expressed in harmful ways. Societal norms often pressure men to maintain a facade of strength and control, which can lead them to experience such intense build-up of anger that they reach a threshold where it explodes in verbal or physical aggression. Alternatively, suppression of anger involves consciously holding back or restraining one’s angry feelings and expressions and taking an excessively submissive or compliant position. It is a coping strategy where an individual tries to avoid the outward display of anger, often out of a desire to maintain social harmony, avoid conflict, or adhere to personal or societal expectations about appropriate emotional responses. While suppression might be seen as a socially convenient approach in the short term, it can have significant long-term consequences including being implicated in health issues like heart disease, hypertension, pain, and other symptoms in the body.

Counselling plays a crucial role in helping men effectively manage their anger. It involves understanding the root causes of anger, distinguishing between healthy and unhealthy expressions of this emotion. Men learn to recognise and express a broader range of emotions and build the capacity to experience anger without excessive anxiety so that they can act on it in a healthy, calmly assertive, and adaptive way.   Anger can then be used to promote problem solving, effectively working through interpersonal conflict, and developing better communication skills.   Through this process, counselling aids men in managing their anger in a way that is healthier for both their mental well-being and their relationships, fostering personal development and a more balanced, fulfilling life.

Addiction Counselling

Addiction often starts as a coping mechanism, where a substance or behaviour is used to manage feelings and anxiety and to alleviate negative distress. Over time, this reliance can become maladaptive, significantly influencing the brain’s reward system.

Initially, a person might turn to substances like alcohol, drugs, or behaviours such as gambling or excessive internet use to escape stress and emotional discomfort, or to enhance pleasurable experiences. These activities trigger the release of chemicals like dopamine in the brain, creating a sense of pleasure or relief. This process is a natural aspect of the brain’s reward system, designed to reinforce behaviours that are essential for survival, such as eating or social interaction.

However, when these substances or behaviours are used repetitively as coping mechanisms, the brain’s reward system starts to adapt. The brain begins to associate these activities with pleasure or relief, and over time, this can lead to changes in brain chemistry and function. This adaptation can diminish the brain’s ability to produce these feel-good chemicals naturally, leading to a reliance on the addictive substance or behaviour to feel normal or happy.

As this pattern continues, tolerance can develop, meaning that more of the substance or more engagement in the behaviour is needed to achieve the same effect. This escalation can lead to addiction, where the person finds it extremely difficult to stop despite negative consequences to their health, relationships, and daily functioning.

It is important to recognise that this process is not a matter of weak willpower or moral failing. Addiction is a complex interplay of biological, psychological, and social factors. By understanding that addiction can develop from an attempt to self-regulate emotions and stress, we can approach it with more empathy and support effective treatment strategies, such as addiction counselling, to address the underlying issues, promote healthier coping mechanisms and build greater emotional capacity.

Addiction counselling is a therapeutic approach specifically designed to help individuals struggling with various forms of addiction, be it substance abuse like alcohol or drugs, or behavioural addictions such as gambling or internet use. The core objective of this counselling is to aid individuals in understanding the multifaceted nature of their addiction, encompassing physical, emotional, and psychological dimensions. It delves into underlying factors contributing to addictive behaviours, often linked to coping with stress, trauma, or other deep-seated issues.  Men wanting treatment for addictions are helped to build the capacity to face feelings and regulate anxiety without resorting to harmful behaviours.

Moreover, addiction counselling addresses co-occurring mental health disorders, providing a holistic treatment approach. This form of counselling is not just about overcoming the addiction itself; it also focuses on understanding the underlying conflict that motivates the reliance for an addictive behaviour. developing healthy coping mechanisms for dealing with triggers and cravings. Relapse prevention is a key aspect, equipping individuals with the knowledge to recognise early signs of relapse and strategies to be able to self-regulate more effectively in response to emotional triggers. Overall, addiction counselling is crucial in guiding individuals through the recovery process, offering the support and tools needed to achieve a more balanced and fulfilling life.

Men’s Depression Counselling

Depression is not simply a transient state of sadness; it is a pervasive and complex mental health condition that significantly impacts an individual’s emotional state, physical health, cognitive functions, and behaviours. Characterised by a persistent sense of sadness, despair, and a lack of interest in previously pleasurable activities, depression can impair a person’s ability to function in daily life. It is often accompanied by feelings of worthlessness or guilt, leading to a profound sense of hopelessness about the future.  At extreme levels the individual becomes suicidal.

Physically, depression can manifest in various ways, including chronic fatigue, significant changes in appetite and weight, sleep disturbances such as insomnia or excessive sleeping, and general bodily aches that have no clear physical cause. These symptoms go beyond what one might expect from everyday ups and downs, especially when they persist for weeks or more.

Cognitively, individuals with depression may find their ability to concentrate, make decisions, or remember details is compromised. This cognitive fog makes ordinary tasks and decisions feel insurmountable, often leading to a cycle of decreased productivity and increased feelings of inadequacy. Furthermore, depression can cause people to withdraw from social interactions and activities they once found enjoyable, adding to feelings of isolation and loneliness.

Counselling can play a pivotal role in the management and treatment of depression. It provides a supportive environment where individuals can explore their feelings and thoughts with a professional who can help them identify patterns that contribute to their depression.  Individuals are helped to face the emotions underneath the depression, building greater emotional capacity and resilience. Counselling aims to help individuals to regain a sense of control, pleasure and meaning in their lives. By addressing the emotional, cognitive, and behavioural aspects of depression, counselling can be an effective tool in helping individuals to understand their condition, foster a path to recovery, and deepen their journey through life.

Stress & Burn-Out Counselling

Stress is a natural physical and mental reaction to life experiences where the body responds to changes with physical, mental, and emotional responses. It is a normal part of life and, in small doses, can be beneficial, acting as a motivator and making one more alert. However, chronic stress occurs when these reactions are drawn out over an extended period and are no longer helpful. This prolonged stress can affect one’s health, causing symptoms like insomnia, headaches, elevated blood pressure, and a weakened immune system.

Burnout, on the other hand, is a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. It occurs when an individual feels overwhelmed, emotionally drained, and unable to meet constant demands. As the stress continues, they begin to lose the interest or motivation that led them to take on a certain role in the first place. Burnout reduces productivity and saps energy, leaving individuals feeling increasingly helpless, hopeless, cynical, and resentful. Eventually, they may feel like they have nothing more to give.

The relationship between stress and burnout exists upon a continuum, with one side of the scale reflecting adaptive eustress, and the other reflecting the chronic maladaptive state of burnout. Initially, the stress may feel energising; it can push someone to meet a deadline or tackle a challenging task. However, without proper management, it can accumulate to become overwhelming, leading to burnout. Unlike stress, which can still have positive implications, burnout is a chronic condition that is detrimental to both physical and mental health.

Counselling can be a powerful aid in managing both stress and burnout. It provides a space to talk through feelings and situations that contribute to stress, helping individuals understand and articulate what they are experiencing. Counsellors can offer strategies for stress management, such as time management techniques, relaxation methods, and setting priorities. They may collaborate with individuals to set realistic goals and establish boundaries to ensure that work and personal life are balanced. In cases of burnout, counselling can help in identifying the individual’s values and goals, providing a new perspective and rekindling the passion for their work or personal life. Counselling also often involves building resilience and developing a supportive network, equipping individuals with the tools not just to cope with stress and burnout, but to thrive despite challenges.

Low Self-Esteem Counselling

Low self-esteem is a common psychological issue that refers to a persistent experience of inadequacy or a lack of confidence in one’s own abilities. It is characterised by critical thoughts and an inability to value oneself appropriately. Individuals with low self-esteem often harbor negative beliefs about their worth and may question their value in social, professional, or personal contexts.

This condition can manifest in many ways. People with low self-esteem may avoid new opportunities or challenges due to a fear of failure or criticism. They might engage in negative self-talk and overlook or dismiss their accomplishments. This lack of self-worth can lead to social withdrawal, difficulty in relationships, and a reluctance to trust one’s own judgment. Risk factors for low self-esteem can include a history of critical or abusive treatment, ongoing stressful life events, persistent medical or mental health issues, or societal pressures and stereotypes.

Low self-esteem is not only about how one views themselves in the present but can also significantly influence the trajectory of their future actions and choices. It can lead to a self-fulfilling prophecy where individuals sabotage their own success or settle for less than they deserve because they believe they are not capable of achieving more.

Counselling can be instrumental in helping individuals with low self-esteem. Through therapeutic techniques, individuals can learn to identify and challenge their negative self-beliefs. Counselling provides a supportive environment where individuals can explore the roots of their self-esteem issues, often tracing them back to past experiences. With professional guidance, they can begin to question the validity of long-held negative beliefs about themselves and replace them with more positive and accurate self-assessments.

Counsellors also work with clients to help them develop a more compassionate view of themselves, focusing on strengths and accomplishments. By setting small, achievable goals, individuals can start to build a sense of competence and success. Counselling may also involve teaching assertiveness skills and boundary-setting to help individuals advocate for themselves in various situations. Over time, with counselling and practice, individuals with low self-esteem can develop a stronger, more positive sense of self, which can lead to a more fulfilling and engaged life.

Family Conflict Counselling

Family conflict is a multifaceted and prevalent issue that arises in the dynamic interactions among family members who each bring their unique temperaments, cultural backgrounds, beliefs, and values into the shared relational space. This complexity is inherent to family systems, where individuals with different personalities and life experiences must coexist and function together. Conflict can emerge from everyday disagreements to profound disputes over life choices and values.

These conflicts are a natural part of family life but can become problematic without proper conflict resolution skills and emotional regulation. When family members are unable to navigate disagreements constructively, it can lead to persistent tension, breakdowns in communication, and long-standing resentments. These difficulties can strain the family unit, potentially leading to estrangement or dysfunction, impacting each member’s emotional well-being.

Factors such as generational divides, financial stressors, lifestyle choices, and external pressures can all contribute to family conflict. Additionally, as families evolve, changes such as marriages, births, and deaths can shift the family dynamics significantly, sometimes triggering new conflicts or exacerbating existing ones.

Counselling can play a crucial role in resolving family conflicts. It provides a neutral space where family members can voice their perspectives and feelings in a safe and structured environment. A family counsellor can help identify underlying issues that contribute to the conflict and facilitate a deeper understanding among family members.

Through counselling, families can learn effective communication strategies, negotiation skills, and ways to manage emotions healthily. This can involve setting boundaries, developing empathy, and learning to appreciate the diverse viewpoints within the family. Counselling aims to strengthen the family by fostering resilience, adaptability, and mutual respect.

By addressing the specific needs and dynamics of a family, counselling can assist in transforming conflict into an opportunity for growth and deeper connection. It can help family members learn to collaborate, resolve disagreements, and support one another, leading to a more harmonious and supportive family environment.

Career Coaching

Career decisions are not just about selecting a job; they often reflect deeper aspects of an individual’s identity and self-concept. People are driven not only by external rewards and social status but also by an intrinsic search for self-fulfilment and meaning.

Existential significance in career choice is about finding work that aligns with personal values, interests, and a sense of purpose. When a career resonates with what an individual finds meaningful, it can lead to greater satisfaction and a sense of contribution to something larger than oneself. Meaning is subjective and varies from person to person. For some, it might be found in creativity and innovation, for others in service and helping professions, and yet for others in leadership and influence.

Career coaching can be an invaluable resource in navigating the psychodynamics of career choice and in establishing existential significance. A career coach helps individuals understand their values, strengths, and passions, and how these can translate into a career. They assist in clarifying goals and creating a plan of action that aligns with the individual’s personal vision of success and fulfillment.

Through assessments and reflective conversations, career coaching can uncover subconscious motivations that influence career choices. It can also provide a space to explore how family background, societal expectations, and personal aspirations interact in the context of career development. Coaches can help individuals to recognise and overcome internal conflicts or barriers that may prevent them from pursuing a career that is truly meaningful to them.

Moreover, career coaching can support individuals in navigating career transitions, developing leadership skills, improving professional relationships, and enhancing overall job performance. By focusing on what provides meaning at an individual level, career coaching empowers people to make informed and fulfilling career choices, contributing to a sense of identity, purpose, and existential significance in their professional lives.

General Counselling

General counselling serves as a versatile therapeutic intervention, suitable for addressing a broad spectrum of issues ranging from life’s everyday stresses to more profound psychological concerns. The presentations appropriate for general counselling are diverse, as it is designed to assist individuals who might be facing challenges such as managing emotions, coping with stress, seeking anger management, navigating relationship issues, dealing with grief or loss, exploring identity questions, or seeking personal growth and self-improvement.

Counselling offers a non-judgmental and supportive environment where individuals can discuss their feelings and thoughts openly. It is a setting in which they can gain insights into their behaviour patterns, identify obstacles that may hinder personal development, and work towards resolving internal conflicts. General counselling can also be beneficial for individuals experiencing transitions such as a career change, moving to a new location, or adjusting to life after significant events like divorce or the empty nest syndrome.

The role of a general counsellor is multifaceted. They facilitate self-exploration and self-awareness by encouraging clients to talk about their experiences and reflect on them. Counsellors use various therapeutic techniques to help clients understand their issues from different perspectives, develop coping strategies, and make positive changes in their lives. These strategies might include cognitive-behavioural techniques to change negative thought patterns, psychoeducation to understand and manage emotions better, and problem-solving skills to deal with specific life challenges.

General counselling also often includes guidance on improving communication skills, which can enhance relationships with family, friends, and colleagues. It provides tools for better stress management, such as relaxation techniques, time management, and setting healthy boundaries. For those struggling with self-esteem, counsellors can work on building confidence and self-compassion.

In summary, general counselling is adaptable to the unique needs of each individual, offering a personalised approach to help them navigate their complex emotional landscapes. It is a collaborative process that empowers individuals to take control of their well-being and pursue a more fulfilled and balanced life.

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Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so we may fear less.

-Marie Curie

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