Staff Counselling

Page for male members of staff

For many reasons it can often be particularly difficult for men to seek support with their mental and emotional health and wellbeing. We provide a safe, non-judgemental environment where you can explore these issues.

Men in our society are often given messages like:

  • 'boys don't cry'
  • 'being a man' means sorting out your problems by yourself
  • you are a ‘failure’ if you have emotional and mental health needs

The messages from family, friends, society and the media can be hard to ignore - particularly when you are feeling low.

This means many men struggle with finding the language to express how they feel, and find it hard to know where to turn to when it becomes impossible to ignore disturbing feelings, behaviours and physical symptoms. But nobody worries about whether it is okay to play football, go to the gym or get involved in other sorts of exercise, and it’s just as okay to take care of how we feel emotionally as well as physically.

A safe and confidential environment

In fact, working with a professional counsellor gives you the opportunity to talk, listen and express yourself without being judged. Counselling is a safe environment where you can be as frank as you want to be about what you are facing.

You can specifically ask for a male (or female) counsellor if that would make you more comfortable.

The page on ‘making an appointment' goes over the steps in the counselling process in more detail.

Some people particularly struggle with finding the language to express how they feel. They are uncomfortable talking about what they perceive as failure, and find it hard to know where to turn to when it becomes impossible to ignore disturbing feelings, behaviours and physical symptoms.

Counselling is designed to be a safe environment where you can be as frank as you want to be about what you are facing. Working with a professional counsellor gives you the opportunity to talk, listen and express yourself without being judged.

We don’t share the details of your sessions – or even the fact you are in counselling - with anyone else.

Key principles

If you’ve never been to counselling before, it’s helpful to understand that:

You’ll be treated with warmth and respect at all times. Your counsellor is not there to judge you or find fault, but to listen carefully so they can understand what's important to you.

Everything you discuss will be kept private, unless you are in serious danger or someone close to you is being harmed or is at risk. It’s highly unusual that we’d need to do this.

You will be clear what you want to get from counselling. Although counselling is not often a 'quick fix' solution to a problem, your counsellor will discuss what you need from counselling, and explain how it could help you achieve this.

Not all counsellors work in the same way. What matters most is whether you think the counsellor understands you enough and is a safe person you can trust. At the end of your initial assessment, you and your counsellor should agree on the next steps.

You don't have to be ill or clinically depressed to see a counsellor, and it doesn't mean you're a 'nutcase' or 'strange'. With the backup of good therapeutic counselling, men find positive ways to deal with their problems every day.

Self-help

As well as one-to-one counselling, we recommend a variety of different self-help resources, so you can find the approach that best suits you.

https://www.ed.ac.uk/counselling-services/staff/useful-websites