'I just want to talk': Establishing reason for call on a men’s counselling helpline

Rebecca Feo, Amanda LeCouteur

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    16 Citations (Scopus)


    Literature on men's health help-seeking suggests that, consistent with hegemonic masculine ideals, men display a general preference for solution-focused interaction. Men's health services routinely orient to this preference, emphasising assistance in the form of practical advice. Little research, however, has examined the nature of actual interactions between men and health professionals. The present paper analyses interaction on a men's telephone relationship-counselling service, focusing on reasons for calling. We demonstrate some recurring interactional patterns relating to the helpline's institutional philosophy of solution-focused counselling. Specifically, callers routinely engaged in narrative reporting of relationship troubles rather than indicating that they were seeking advice; counsellors, however, routinely orientated to the role of advice- and information-provider, in addition to that of troubles-talk recipient. We examine the recurring interactional disfluencies around this reason-for-call talk, considering some consequences for institutional help-giving that arise from the assumption of a male preference for solution-focused healthcare.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)65-80
    Number of pages16
    JournalAustralian Feminist Studies
    Issue number75
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2013


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