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Men's experiences of counselling.

Barnes, Oliver F. (2020) Men's experiences of counselling. Doctoral thesis, University of Surrey.

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Men underutilise a range of healthcare services compared to women. Various hypotheses, such as masculine role norms, have been put forward in the attempt to explain this finding, however research has suggested that there is a lack of ideographic evidence, which engages with men’s own subjective experiences. The aim of this study was to explore men’s experiences of counselling from an ideographic perspective by utilising interpretative phenomenological analysis. Six men were interviewed at a charity which offers counselling, located in the South of England. Interview questions focused on the overall experience of counselling, how the participants experienced discussing emotional material, and whether they felt their gender had any impact on the process. Three superordinate themes were identified from the interviews: Struggle, Tension, and Risk; An Interpersonal Endeavour; and Making Progress. The themes centred on the participants’ experiences of difficulty both within and outside the therapy room, the therapeutic relationship, and the benefits that arose as a result of undergoing counselling. The findings of this study suggest that whilst men may experience perceived, gendered cultural norms, such as expectations of male stoicism, that impact their therapy, they may also experience many phenomena which appear less gender-specific, such as concerns about the therapeutic relationship. It is suggested that the continued collection of ideographic data in similar studies may be useful for the field of Counselling Psychology, because data of this kind could provide crucial insights into how clinical practice can be better tailored to men’s needs.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Divisions : Theses
Authors : Barnes, Oliver F.
Date : 30 April 2020
Funders : None
DOI : 10.15126/thesis.00854109
Contributors :
ContributionNameEmailORCID, Oliver
Depositing User : Oliver Barnes
Date Deposited : 19 May 2020 15:33
Last Modified : 20 May 2020 07:28

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