A scotch and cigar wouldn’t seem out of place among the dark leather chairs and warm brick and deep orange walls of the office overlooking Granville Street. With its base in the heart of downtown Vancouver’s business district, Thrive Consulting is serious about reaching men.
The recently launched practice is the brainchild of three men – Carson Kivari, James Alexander, and Dace Marsh – all graduates of the UBC counselling psychology program. The trio aims to provide a men-friendly experience that goes beyond the aesthetics.
Their consulting style was inspired in part by UBC’s psychotherapy professor Dr. John Ogrodniczuk, who uses a strengths-based framework to put the control squarely in men’s hands. Ogrodniczuk uses a language and a style that resonates with men and puts them in control of finding solutions to their problems.
Inspired by this gendered approach, Thrive Consulting even tailors their initial point of contact on men’s preferences. For example, the online booking system allows men to skip any awkwardness in booking through a receptionist and helps clients commit to their decision to seek a consultation by prepaying.
The new practice is conveniently next door to the Veterans Transition Network, which helps returning veterans work through their military and personal experiences. All of the Thrive clinicians have also been influenced by this successful group approach, pioneered by Dr. Marvin Westwood and Dr. David Kuhl.
In fact, Carson splits his clinic time with his work at UBC as the project manager of the Men’s Transition Program, one of five interventions in the Men’s Depression & Suicide Network funded by Movember Canada. The project is adapting Westwood and Kuhl’s men’s group model with veterans for use with civilian men – currently being tested with college aged men and men with prostate cancer.
Thrive Consulting now offers individualized sessions, and with time, the team plans to capitalize on the strength of using group approaches.