Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Theology (MTh)




Martin Luther University College

First Advisor

Peter VanKatwyk

Advisor Role

Thesis Supervisor


A qualitative research report focused on interviews with twelve rural men between the ages of 30 and 55 living for at least 10 consecutive years in a community with a population of less than two thousand persons. Most were farmers. Findings indicate that the rural male's motivation to use a professional counsellor may be greatly increased when the following three factors are attended to: (1) Professional Public Relations (PR) (advertising/marketing geared to the rural language and setting; (2) Individual men Naming their issue and Knowing someone who might be helpful (N/K) AND (3) Normalization (via PR) of knowledge that rural males are using and benefiting from Professional counselling services. These findings suggest a narrative approach to PR and Nomalization. Findings also reveal an existing Informal Counselling network which often satisfies a rural man. Also demonstrated is the importance of known, trusted referring persons (non-professional or Informal Counsellors) who can, using informal means, present a realistic picture to rural men of what professional counselling might offer. For persons wanting to provide Professional Counselling services to rural men, the issue of whether to call oneself a counsellor or therapist is explored, each term carrying motivational implications for rural male with "Counsellor/counselling" tending to be more accepted and less threatening. Implications for the Church are indicated and Incarnation, making the word become flesh, is shown to be a vitally important motivational factor if rural men are going to consider steps toward asking a professional counsellor for help.

Convocation Year


Convocation Season


Included in

Social Work Commons