Traditional masculinity and counselling: a study of traditional masculine norms in New Zealand and their influence on men’s engagement in individual counselling services.
Type of content
This thesis explores how traditional norms of masculinity in New Zealand create barriers to counselling engagement for men. Individual semi-structured interviews of 1.5 hours were conducted with five former counselling clients (all male). Interviews were recorded, transcribed and analysed using thematic analysis with a social constructionist underpinning. Five themes emerged: 1) What it Means to be a Man, 2) Responding to Traditional Norms of Masculinity, 3) Barriers to Engagement, 4) Factors that Enhance Engagement and 5) Possibilities for Increasing Men’s Engagement in Counselling. Findings show traditional norms of masculinity remain strong in New Zealand and contribute to delayed counselling engagement. Participants suggest: reworking existing marketing campaigns, marketing that aligns with traditional norms, more “casual” counselling interactions, clearer information about counselling, the use of technology, recommendations from “everyday” men, and alternative pathways to counselling. The implications of these changes are discussed as well their importance when applied to counselling practice.