Sikh men in therapy

Bhangu, Jasmeen Kaur (2021) Sikh men in therapy. Doctoral thesis, London Metropolitan University.


When considering culture, existing literature has identified that there is a key decline in help-seeking behaviour particularly within the South Asian community. However, there is a gap within the literature regarding Sikh men’s perspectives of the concepts of therapy. The research explores help-seeking behaviour of Sikh men from the Sikh community. Through this, the aim has been to explore what factors contribute to deciding whether one should seek therapy, which can help understand what impedes or encourages that process.

Verbatim accounts of semi-structured interviews were analysed using a constructivist grounded theory approach. The participants were eight Sikh men aged between 18 to 33 years. Four out of the eight participants had experienced some form of psychological therapy, whilst the other four had considered approaching psychological services but never received any therapy.

The findings demonstrated high-level components in describing the highly complex processes a Sikh man identifies with when deciding whether to seek therapeutic help. During the process of analysis three core constructs: ‘Barriers from within’, ‘External barriers’ and ‘Opening up the barriers’ emerged.

The model captures how much a Sikh man must consider prior to making a decision about their own mental health. The theory that emerged from this research provides insight into the help-seeking style of the Sikh culture, to help Counselling Psychologists and other health professionals working with this client group to develop culture-specific interventions.

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