Date of Conferral
This study explored the lived experiences of men attracted to minors who believed they would benefit from therapy but did not seek out or attend therapeutic services; and sought to gain an understanding of how the decision to seek help or not impacted their well-being. Participants included 7 men who were recruited through the B4U-ACT online forum, which provides peer support for the minor attracted community. Participants were interviewed over Skype. Data from these interviews was analyzed and coded according to the interpretative phenomenological method as outlined by Smith et al. (2012). Five main themes emerged, providing insight as to why more therapeutic support is not sought. These themes include: emotional distress, consideration of therapy, actual and perceived stigmatization, expectations of therapist assumptions, expectations of professionalism, and therapeutic support.
The findings were compared with existing literature to propose ways mental health professionals can provide easier access to resources and reach the population, which can lead to societal benefits. Improved access to treatment has the potential to provide the population opportunities to better cope with stigma, manage their impulses more effectively, lower their feelings of isolation, and increase their overall well-being. This study helps to fill the current void in the area of research on help-seeking behaviors and the associated challenges that men attracted to minors may face.