What should men look out for when choosing to start therapy?
On the whole men appear to be hesitant in seeking help for mental health challenges (Mahalik, Good & Englar-Carlson, 2003). However there is no marker or test that can definitively indicate a male may need therapy or whether the timing is right to make an appointment. In general feeling stuck, feeling despair, or struggling with your identity in your perceived roles (breadwinner, protector, the person who stays calm and easygoing, etc.) may be good times to think about engaging in therapy.
Keep in mind that outcome studies suggest your rapport with a therapist appears to be more important than choosing a therapist with a particular modality of therapy (such as CBT Vs psychodynamic Vs self psychology) (Wampold et al., 2010; Wampold et al., 2002). For men in particular, hesitancy about therapy can be partially offset by the idea that first appointments are simply about seeing whether a healthy rapport can be established and whether the approach provided by your therapist sounds logical and trustworthy.
Mahalik, J. R., Good, G. E., & Englar-Carlson, M. (2003). Masculinity scripts, presenting concerns, and help seeking: Implications for practice and training. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 34, 123–131.
Wampold, B. E., Imel, Z. E., Laska, K. M., Benish, S., Miller, S. D., Flűckiger, C., et al. (2010). Determining what works in the treatment of PTSD. Clinical Psychology Review, 30, 923-933.
Wampold, B. E., Minami, T., Baskin, T. W., & Tierney, S. C. (2002). A meta - (re)analysis of the effects of cognitive therapy versus "other therapies" for depression. Journal of Affective Disorders, 68 , 159 - 165.