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Featured Dad, Mental Health: “I found my dad intimidating”

In this dad mental health series, we’ll mostly be keeping our featured dads anonymous, unless they request otherwise. The purpose of this is to help dads learn that what they are going through is normal, and no matter the age, geography ethnic background or otherwise, mental health and needing support touches everyone. Dads are dads and their experiences are all valid and worth sharing.

When did you start going to therapy?  How did you feel about the idea of going when you started?

2007. I was grateful for the opportunity to address my issues

How did fatherhood impact your mental health journey?

*It’s made me want to be a better man and a better role model.

Do any of your mental health issues relate to your own relationship with your parents? With parenting your own child?  

Yes. I found my dad intimidating and worried about pleasing him. I’ve never wanted my children to feel anxious or intimidated by me.

What advice do you have for other dads about going to therapy or asking for help?

Do what’s comfortable for you. But at the same time, keep an open mind and explore the various options available to find a good fit that helps you reach your goals.(If you remember it)

What was your first therapy session like? Describe it for other dads:

It was easy and comfortable. It’s not the way you see it on TV. There was no couch. No notes. No pushing or judgement. It felt like therapy was a place where I could discover for myself what I really wanted out of life.

Have you ever walked away from therapy with a big learning? Can you share it with us?

I reached a point where I felt like I had peeled back layers to expose who I really was and could see how to get where I wanted to be. Sessions after this one were focused on making plans, rather than discovering who/what I was. It was exciting!

Has therapy helped your parenting? Has therapy helped your relationships?

Yes to both. By knowing myself better, I’m better able to articulate to others what I think and feel – and how we can work together to solve common goals