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Cultural influences in research and therapeutic practice: a counselling psychology perspective

Stroud, James G. P. (2015). Cultural influences in research and therapeutic practice: a counselling psychology perspective. (Unpublished Doctoral thesis, City University London)


This empirical study explores ‘Men’s experiences of being circumcised men’ using the methodological approach of Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). Semi-structured interviews were undertaken with eight adult participants. The interview data was analysed using the IPA protocol (Smith, Flowers, & Larkin, 2009). From this analysis, three main themes emerged: The first is ‘Who am I? – Circumcision and my Self’ in which the participants’ experiences of male group belonging, feeling different from other men, and their perception of others are explored. The second main theme is ‘The physical experience – Circumcision and my body’ exploring how the men talk about circumcision affecting their bodies, in the way it looks, feels and in terms of how they talk about health and the impact of the procedure itself. The final theme that emerges is ‘Reflecting on the decision’ in which the men’s experiences of the choice that was made and their sense of whether it was ‘right’ are presented. The three main themes are discussed in relation to broad theories of body image, theories of identity and theories of male hegemony, drawing tentative links between these. Throughout the research process the impact of culture and context acts as a background that informs the study. The findings have implications for Counselling Psychologists who work with men who enter therapy and for whom such issues may remain unexplored. The research informs the male circumcision debate and offers a way of understanding opposing viewpoints. The quality, transferability and limitations of the study are considered together with a discussion of the findings in the light of theory and research. Areas for future research are suggested.

Publication Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Psychology
Doctoral Theses
Doctoral Theses > School of Arts and Social Sciences Doctoral Theses
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