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The challenges preventing men when seeking counselling or psychotherapy

Shepherd, Gary ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8178-1141, Astbury, Ellie, Cooper, Amanda, Dobrzynska, Wiktoria, Goddard, Emma, Whitley, Annie and Murphy, Holly (2023) The challenges preventing men when seeking counselling or psychotherapy. Mental Health & Prevention, 31 (200287).

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Traditionally men have been reluctant to engage in counselling or psychotherapy at times of mental distress. Such reluctance is predominantly explained through masculine socialisation and masculine hegemony theory. There are more reasons which have yet to be brought together through the format of a scoping review. This scoping review aims to extract, review and summarize research recommendations to help researchers understand the main challenges men face when contemplating or seeking counselling or psychotherapy. Six electronic databases (PsycINFO, PsycARTICLES, CINAHL, MEDLINE, SocINDEX and Google Scholar) were searched for articles published between 2002 and 2021. Of the 2,306 citations identified, 45 met the inclusion criteria. Forty articles used a qualitative methodology, whilst five studies employed a mixed methods methodology. Analysis revealed three interconnected themes which contribute towards reluctance to engage with mental health services (a) masculine identity; (b) male behavioral norms; (c) psychological services and therapists. We would recommend hegemonic men re-establish their links to male centric communities in order to counteract some of the barriers to accessing psychological services. We envisage the establishment of local community-based networks of men who can share their lived experience, develop a language of help seeking and find new ways to enact their maleness whilst honoring their masculinity.

Item Type: Article
Status: Published
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mhp.2023.200287
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology > BF637 Counselling
School/Department: School of Education, Language and Psychology
URI: https://ray.yorksj.ac.uk/id/eprint/7429

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