UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Studying the effects of a veterans transition program style retreat (company of men) on participants’ perception and experience of masculinity Laidler, Timothy Douglas


The Company of Men (CoM) retreat was created based on the findings from the Veterans Transition Program (VTP), a 10-day retreat style program that assist Veterans in their transition to civilian life. The CoM is for general population male gendered people facing some sort of life transition, stress or challenge. Research evaluating the VTP found that a key issue for Veterans were the masculine gendered traits that are reinforced in the military. The traits are proven to be unhelpful in many civilian careers and family lives once people leave the military. Since the VTP was seen to help Veterans in the domain of their masculine identities it was theorized that a similar program may be helpful for non-military masculine gendered populations. The CoM was the first attempt to translate the VTP Knowledge with a civilian population. CoM was studied through a post-retreat focus group comprised of 6 participants from CoM program. This study found a shift in participant’s experience and perception of masculinity occurred, primarily around emotional expression and help seeking. Moreover, participants elucidated on the factors of change, enactments, facilitator’s presence and working in a group.

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Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5 Canada