Next month Compass Psychology and Timothy Hudd of English Therapy Helsinki will offer a new program called “Fitting Into Finland: A group for English-speaking men”. This program is a six-week self-development course aimed at male, English-speaking spouses of Finnish people to improve their resilience, well-being and social resources. We came up with the idea for the program based on my experiences as a therapist for men in Finland and Tim’s own lived experience of moving here with his Finnish spouse and feeling very isolated, experiencing unemployment and losing a sense of well-being due to the dislocation of the migration experience.
Many people have asked us why we have not set up a similar group for women, and what is different about therapy for men. These are my reasons for setting up such a group:
- Masculinity is often influenced by feeling that one is a provider, protector and has potency and competency. For those men who move countries and cannot provide (or provide less, due to a less suitable & well-paid job), cannot protect (they do not speak the language, do not understand the culture well) and feel incompetent (for example in instances when they cannot speak Finnish), all of these elements of masculinity are diminished.
- While many women are socialised to seek help and talk to friends about vulnerabilities, most men in English-speaking environments are taught not to show such vulnerabilities, to seek help, or to even talk to their friends and spouse about their problems. This can lead to increased feelings of isolation and poorer coping strategies.
- The majority of spouses moving to Finland from English speaking countries, statistically speaking, are mostly men.
We may set up a similar program for men and women together in future, depending on demand and our resources, but we felt that at this time the priority should be for those English-speaking men who would benefit from a group that had similar shared experiences.
Our first program is starting on October 16th. Go to the Fitting into Finland webpage to sign up to the program!
You can learn more about Timothy Hudd, psychotherapist with the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, at his webpage: English Therapy Helsinki.