I can remember back when I was I was in school, (and no the 1980's weren't all THAT long ago) the subject of mental health in general was not something you heard much about, and even less in the area of men's mental health. We didn't have bullying prevention rally's in school, sex education was a 1 semester class in your senior year, and intro to psychology was class you took to study the reactions of other classmates when you asked them certain types of questions.
Nowadays, mental health is all over social media, commercials on TV and radio, there are podcasts devoted to all aspects of it, incredible advocacy groups who share knowledge and help inspire change, and overall the exposure that this previously ignored and taboo topic is getting is encouraging.
So why is it then, that for all of that positive movement, there are still so many that feel ashamed to talk about it with a doctor or therapist, much less discuss it around the campfire or weekend cookout?
My point is, to reiterate that while we have come a long way, there is still so much work to be done. So much stigma and shame to expose in the area of men's mental health. I feel it's important to mention that I am by no means minimizing the important of mental health in women, but for the purposes of this podcast with Andrea Schneider, we'll focus more on the male challenges of this topic.
Andrea Schneider, MSW, LCSW is a licensed clinical social worker in private practice in San Dimas, CA. She received her MSW from University of Michigan (the top ranked social work program in the country) and her B.A. in Psychology from UCLA (#2 in the country).
During her 20+ year career, Andrea has counseled thousands of individuals and families covering a broad range of issues and challenges, developing specialties in maternal wellness, narcissistic abuse recovery, special needs parenting, and grief/loss. Andrea is EMDR trained, a modality which helps clients dealing with a wide range of concerns in trauma recovery, including PTSD, complex-PTSD, relational trauma, depression, anxiety, grief and loss.
She also has experience in helping children and families deal with loss and trauma issues. Not only is she trained in EMDR, but during her Master’s program, Andrea interned at a hospice agency and trained under an art/play therapy program. She uses art intervention in her treatment with both children and adults, and has a Trauma-Informed Expressive Arts Therapy Credential from the Trauma-Informed Practices and Expressive Arts Therapy Institute.
Andrea is also a fellow podcaster on the Mental Health News Radio Network, where you can find her show, The Savvy Shrink.
During our chat on the Beyond Your Past Podcast, we discuss some areas surrounding men's mental health including:
The man card, and tough guy image that follows males regardless of background
Building the trauma language, emotional language, and confidence in opening up to others
How men are getting more confident in reaching out, yet still feel ashamed and self-conscious
How much political climate and social media affect our confidence in talking about mental health, and how much we share.
Bullying and mental health, and the changes from decades ago and now in 2018.
Men and the #MeToo movement, including the feelings of alienation that are present even with all of the exposure.
Andrea Schneider and I dive more into each of those topics and hopefully shed some light on not only men's mental health, but the importance of reaching out for help regardless of gender. Everyone deserves to be heard, validated, and appreciated for who they are and what they've b