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Title: How young men's masculinity affects, and is affected by, the counselling process : a psychosocial analysis
Author: Bichard, Thomas
ISNI:       0000 0004 8508 7191
Awarding Body: University of Roehampton
Current Institution: University of Roehampton
Date of Award: 2019
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In the UK, proportionally fewer men attend counselling and psychotherapy services (British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy, 2014; NHS Digital, 2018). Suggesting externalising expressions of distress, authors cite the increased rates amongst Western men of: completed suicide (Scourfield, Fincham, Langer, & Shiner, 2012), violence (Evans & Wallace, 2008), homelessness (Inckle, 2014) and substance misuse (Kiselica, Benton-Wright, & Englar-Carlson, 2016). Positioning masculinity as affecting the counselling process, this thesis addresses the question of how young men’s masculine identities interact with the counselling process and contextualises the impact of counselling on these identities. A qualitative, psychosocial narrative methodology (Hollway & Jefferson, 2013) and photographic elicitation was chosen to investigate the intrapsychic, interpersonal and wider social components of identity and gender (Evans, 2010). Eight men who attended at least 12 sessions of counselling or psychotherapy were twice interviewed. Categories emerging related to: needs and concerns around being in counselling whilst maintaining masculine identity; showing and acknowledging distress; negotiating counsellors’ subjectivity and professional authority; personal authenticity; and the effect of the researcher. Results suggest anticipated or actual power differentials between counsellors and clients can be addressed before and during counselling. Relational factors inside and outside of the counselling relationship, and the opportunity to express emotions seems to hold greater significance for masculine identities rather than practical or action-focussed elements. The specific demographics of participants are discussed along with wider implications regarding the barriers in accessing psychological support, how counselling services are represented and promoted, the training of counsellors and future research within the complex and dynamic topics of masculinity and help-seeking.
Supervisor: Rizq, Rosemary ; Evans, Tony Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Psych.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Gender ; Masculinity ; Masculine ; Men ; Male ; Counselling ; Counselling psychology ; Psychotherapy ; Narrative ; Narrative analysis ; Psychosocial