Gender Issues When Working with Men with Depression: A Novice Counsellor’s Perspective

  • Sarah E. M. Larson Athabasca University
  • Murray S. C. Anderson Athabasca University


Gender is an important cultural consideration for any counsellor, seasoned or novice. There is evidence to support the view that counsellors do not receive adequate training regarding gender issues and are ill-equipped to work with men and the unique issues that men face within North American culture. Depression is one of the most widespread mental health conditions worldwide, and cultural gender norms impact the symptoms of depression. It is important for novice counsellors to consider cultural influences on gender norms when working with male clients with depression. The purpose of this article is to outline the uniqueness of male depression, to show the effects of cultural gender norms and identity on the experience and perception of depression within clients and counsellors, and to provide recommendations for treatment for novice counsellors working with men with depression.

Author Biographies

Sarah E. M. Larson, Athabasca University
Sarah is a recent graduate from the Master of Counselling program at Athabasca University, Canada. In her practicum she specialized in trauma-informed therapy and the use of narrative therapy to work with adults to explore identity issues and conflict.  She is now living on the west coast of Sweden where she continues to hone her skills as a novice therapist.  She works in private practice and as a volunteer therapist working with locals, immigrants, and refugees with the Red Cross of Sweden.   
Murray S. C. Anderson, Athabasca University

Murray Anderson is a psychologist who teaches in the Graduate Centre for Applied Psychologist at the University of Athabasca. He also works in an outreach capacity for Island Health serving those dealing with mental health and substance use concerns. Additionally, he holds a small private practice specializing in life transitions. 

How to Cite
Larson, S. E. M., & Anderson, M. S. C. (2019). Gender Issues When Working with Men with Depression: A Novice Counsellor’s Perspective. Canadian Journal of Counselling and Psychotherapy, 53(3), 232-254. Retrieved from
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