Male attitudes to psychotherapy, modes of coping with problems and presenting problems in psychotherapy

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Carpenter, Carolyn
Issue Date
BA Counselling and Psychotherapy
Dublin Business School
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There are every increasing reports in the academic literature and in the popular press of a 'crisis in masculinity'. The aim of this project was investigate male attitudes to counselling and psychotherapy. To examine the type of issues men present with in psychotherapy, how they dealt with them prior to counselling and in doing so to further our understanding of their emotional needs. The data was obtained through a series of in-depth and semi-structured interviews. Computer data covering a three year period, showing presenting problems was also used. Ten men attending an inner city Counselling Centre for group therapy participated in the study. Results showed the men believed that counselling and psychotherapy are seen in a negative light by men in general.. Results also showed that men tend not to seek counselling until their problems have escalated into what might be described as a crisis and only then after a considerable amount of time has elapsed. Results also showed that the men interviewed dealt with problems by burying them, putting them to the back of their mind or being unaware they had a problem in the first place. Findings were discussed in the light of theories of socialisation and gender-role culture. Implications for psychotherapy, future research and interventions were highlighted.