Avoidance of Counseling: Psychological Factors That Inhibit Seeking Help

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Abstract

How do counselors reach out to individuals who are reluctant to seek counseling services? To answer this question, the authors examined the research on the psychological help-seeking barriers from counseling, clinical and social psychology, as well as social work and psychiatry. Specific avoidance factors that have been identified in the mental health literature; important variations in the setting, problem type, demographics, and cultural characteristics that can influence the degree to which avoidance factors affect professional help-seeking decisions; and suggestions for overcoming these avoidance factors are discussed.

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