I’ve been reflecting on gender and counselling. I checked some statistics from various countries this morning to see what percentage of men access counselling or therapeutic services. They are in the minority. I also had a look at the stats about how many women train in this field and how many men.
Psychology was once a male dominated field, today it is female dominated.
I’m not certain whether men are frustrated by the lack of male therapists. sometimes I fear that they are. I suspect that my concern about that issue is brought into my sessions with me and that I may become overly sensitive and a little more tentative in my approach.
I wonder also if there is such a thing as a feminisation of the psyche? If the story about what it is to be human and what it is to be well are being ‘written’ by women does this create an unbalanced reality?
Perhaps things are as they should be. Perhaps everything is in balance. There certainly is some suggestion that men are finding their way to ask for help when they need it.
I know that the thought of what it is to be a woman counselling a man is one that I ponder quite a bit. I have had to confront many assumptions and navigate my own projections. I have had to continue to be guided by the person sitting with me. Again the feeling that I am the student and the client is the teacher.
I wonder what you think about this?
I was glad to remember this hafiz poem. Perhaps this notion of gender guides my thinking too much.
How Does It Feel to Be a Heart?
A poem by
Once a young woman asked me,
“How does it feel to be a man?”
And I replied,
I am not so sure.”
Then she said,
“Well, aren’t you a man?”
And this time I replied,
“I view gender
As a beautiful animal
That people often take for a walk on a leash
And might enter in some odd contest
To try to win strange prizes.
A better question for Hafiz
Would have been,
‘How does it feel to be a heart?’
For all I know is Love,
And I find my heart infinite