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Engaging Men, An Exploration of the Help-Seeking Experiences of Male Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse

Nicholls, Nicole (2014). Engaging Men, An Exploration of the Help-Seeking Experiences of Male Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse. (Unpublished Doctoral thesis, City University London)


Counselling Psychologists working in a variety of settings are likely to encounter male clients who have significant histories of childhood trauma, including childhood sexual abuse (CSA). The existing literature on the topic of CSA is largely quantitative, and whilst there is qualitative research that explores adult female experiences of CSA, research concerning men’s perspectives is limited. This qualitative phenomenological study examined the experiences of help-seeking in male survivors of CSA with the aim of advancing understanding of this phenomenon to inform and enhance clinical practice.

Seven participants who identified themselves as survivors of CSA took part in semi-structured interviews, which were analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. Analysis of the data revealed four master themes: ‘Disclosure’, ‘Searching’, ‘The Help-Seeking Journey’ and ‘Making Sense and Moving Forwards’. It is argued that this research offers an embodied account of male help-seeking experiences following CSA, which is currently lacking from the current literature. The findings have implications for clinical practice, service provision, policy development and professional training in the field. It is also hoped that they will inform the work of Counselling Psychologists who enter into therapy with men who have experienced CSA.

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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