INTIMACY ISSUES COMMON TO MEN - Male Intimacy Issues
Often Psychiatrists need to work with a team of psychologists, therapists, and counselors because the root causes of male intimacy issues are not necessarily grounded in human physiology but other aspects of the mind. This is the team approach that treats the whole person and includes professionals from various fields. This article was written by Dr. Gregory Crow Ph.D. of Scottsdale Counseling a Psychologist in Scottsdale AZ who treats male intimacy issues. In my Phoenix and Scottsdale psychiatry practice I have always relied on other professionals such as counselors and psychologists for a more effective treatment plan.
Male Intimacy Issues Dr. Gregory Crow of Scottsdale Counseling
For many years now I have been treating men who desire to restore their integrity and their marriages (and families). All of us struggle to be pure in heart. All of us have stress and family issues and all of us medicate. It could be alcohol, drugs, gambling, over-eating, shopping, working-the list goes on and on. Gaming and excessive time spent on various video venues are huge now. For some, unhealthy sexual practices are the “medication of choice.” All of these practices become intimacy issues for men – male intimacy issues, intimacy issues, men afraid of intimacy, intimacy issues in marriage. Male intimacy issues are common.
While these various male intimacy issues need specialized help, the process of recovery for all these issues is much the same. Many, if not most, men have several of these “medications” in their lives.
Male Intimacy Issues – Sometimes a complicated tapestry
No one decides what they will use to “zone out” from the stresses of life (for some it is more about the mood-altering thrill). We just happen upon it. Male intimacy issues are not conscious decisions. For many intimacy issue in men I treat, it was the discovery of pornography at a young age that initially excited them and later became a habit they could not retire from on their own. For some it is womanizing-enjoying the attention of an attractive female and the thrill of flirting with and eventually sleeping with women other than the girlfriend or wife that gives them the short-term escape or thrill they are looking for. Obviously these behaviors prohibit and destroy the natural sweet intimacy between men and their wives. I commonly hear that men assume they will grow out of these habits, only to find that in some cases they cannot quit on their own. Very common in men with intimacy issues. For those who have crossed that line, awareness is not enough and it is usually when their relationships are on the brink (“get help or we’re done”) that help is sought out. At this point men are typically already experiencing a marriage without intimacy, leading their wives to take a stand-it’s me or your habit.
It is important to note that whether or not the behavior has escalated to something the man cannot stop on his own (one definition of addiction), the opportunity to work with any man male intimacy issue who is involved in these marriage-busting behaviors is critical. Many non-addicted men can be helped before they do more damage to their marriages, families and themselves - Male Intimacy Issues.
I have found that Group Therapy, which calls men to a higher degree of vulnerability and accountability breaks the power of the behavior and the secret life necessary to practice it. Many times the partner doesn’t know the half of the story when they find evidence that confirms their suspicion that something or someone is lurking in the shadows, interfering with their relationship. Getting the truth on the table and having the opportunity for continuing accountability such as the group provides really helps. The habits are exposed for what they are-mood-altering behaviors that have some level of harmful consequence to the relationship and which will never meet our needs for real intimacy-including a healthy sex life with our partner.
Individual Therapy is also critical to male intimacy issues because it helps to identify “the why.” This is the exploration of each individual’s adaptation to their experiences in both childhood and adult life. Unfinished business (that all of us have) is processed so that we can make better choices and be less distressed day to day. Brain spotting is one technique that is utilized to stimulate and process emotional issues. Education and guidance in these matters is also very important, along with providing a safe, non-judging place to talk in the first place.
Lastly, Couples’ Therapy is where all the gains from the other work pays off as issues each person has with their partner get “hashed out.” I have special training in a type of marriage counseling called Emotional Focused Therapy for Couples. This therapy has been found to have a high rate of success. It helps couples identify their marriage “dance” and change it. Each partner is guided to become more vulnerable so that heart-felt issues can be shared in a way that empathy develops. This causes softening of our hearts and the opportunity for re-connection! I have years of experience in marriage counseling in Scottsdale.
For most men with intimacy issues, the processes I’ve mentioned above don’t just help them with problem behaviors-as they continue to do the work they move well beyond this into learning much about being healthy persons and over come these male intimacy issues. They often become the leaders their wives and children always needed them to be at home.
It is true that recovery from these male intimacy issues is possible, more than likely in fact, when a man commits to do whatever is necessary to change and follows up on that commitment. A man must work to change for himself first-to be the man he really wants to be. The good news is that when he does that, often times everything else falls into place! We have many success stories in dealing with male intimacy, give us a call or drop me an email!
Gregory M. Crow, Ph.D.
7510 E. Angus Dr.
Scottsdale, AZ 85251