City Research Online

Mapping men’s journey through psychological crisis and treatment

White, A. (2020). Mapping men’s journey through psychological crisis and treatment. (Unpublished Doctoral thesis, City, University of London)


Men tend to be significantly under-represented in primary care psychological services despite a range of social indicators which suggest that men may experience psychological distress at equivalent rates as women. This study aims to explicate the therapeutic journey undertaken by men to inform service providers how a greater proportion of men may be engaged with primary care psychological services. Adopting a subtle realist ontology, a grounded theory analysis was applied to semi-structured interviews with 30 male participants who had completed a psychological intervention within five years. Participants were recruited via advertisements displayed in a range of waiting rooms and on social media. Analysis of the emergent data allowed for the development of the ’Humpty Dumpty’ model conceptualizing the entire therapeutic journey men undertake. Formative experiences, including family role models, traditional gender-roles and a lack of awareness of psychological matters, resulted in the pre-therapy coping strategy, ‘just keep going.’ When crises occurred, typically relating to work and relationships, then generic, individual, psychological support was valued, suggesting that existing services are both appropriate and fit for purpose. Although participants reported their experiences to be transformational, they tended not to disclose their experiences, potentially contributing to a pervasive unawareness of psychological issues amongst men. A range of recommendations are extruded from the model, aimed at increasing men’s engagement in primary care psychological services.

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