New Publication from Drs. Borgen & Westwood – No Man Left Behind: Effectively Engaging Male Military Veterans in Counseling

Bill Borgen

Dr. William Borgen
Department of Educational Counselling Psychology and Special Education

Marv Westwood

Dr. Marvin Westwood
Department of Educational Counselling Psychology and Special Education

Abstract: Ex-military men have emerged as a vulnerable subgroup for mental illness amid long-standing trends signaling men’s reticence to seek professional help. Less explored is how men engage or disengage when they actually do enter helping programs. Contrasting decades of quantitative research pairing masculine ideology with low help seeking (i.e., describing the problem), this article draws on qualitative data to distill factors that help men become engaged and committed to counseling (i.e., identifying solutions). Shared is an evaluation of a treatment program with high success rates and virtually no dropouts-a unique occurrence in men’s counseling. Enhanced Critical Incident Technique data suggest that helping men feel competent and free from judgment in the company of down-to-earth peers and genuine practitioners are instrumental in helping men draw benefit from counseling. While appealing to male gender roles may be critical in recruiting men to counseling, men can transition to embrace virtues (i.e., that might be shared by men and women alike) and universal human needs as counseling progresses.


Kivari, C.A., Oliffe, J.L., Borgen, W.A. & Westwood, M.J. (2016). No man left behind: Effectively engaging male military veterans in counseling. American Journal of Men’s Health. Doi: 10.1177/1557988316630538

Click here to access the article.