Where Are the Men?

May 23, 2011

A lack of male mental health clinicians is having a huge effect on men who would otherwise benefit from psychotherapy.

A recent article in the New York Times indicates that there is a dearth of men in the field of mental health. Only 1 in 5 master’s degrees in psychology goes to a man and men make up a scant 10% of the American Counseling Association’s membership. This lack of male mental health clinicians is having a huge effect on men who would otherwise benefit from psychotherapy.

Managed care had an enormous impact on the mental health field. Psychiatry, the one male-dominated area of the mental health profession, has increasingly turned to drug treatments. As men left psychotherapy, women moved into the field and took their places. With less men entering the profession, the male viewpoint is being diluted. The result is that men who would otherwise seek psychotherapeutic treatment are reluctant to start treatment with a women. For some men it is much easier to discuss certain topics with another man than with a woman: something that might be run-of-the-mill for a man, may be traumatic to a woman.