- Statement of the Topic
According to Kusher and Sher (1989) counseling and psychotherapy are always seen as, “Potentially difficult, embarrassing, and overly risky enterprise[s….that induce] fear and avoidance in some individuals” (p. 56). In congruence with this, there are different studies that have found out that it is only a third of individuals who require counseling and psychotherapy who seek professional assistance (Kushner & Sher 1989; Andrews, Issakidis, & Carter, 2001). Most people see counseling as the last alternative to turn when everything else has failed. The negated perceptions attribute to counseling persists despite a wide range of research showing that seeking counseling is often beneficial. In an institutional environment, Wilson, Rickwood, Ciarrochi & Deane (2000) argue that failure to look help from experts is a major barrier to tackling rising cases of suicide and self-harm. One of the most comprehensive findings of the Australian Access to Service and Evaluation Research Unit (SERU, 1999) found out that students single out factors like cost, communication, compassion, confidentiality, and convenience as major factors hindering them from seeking help when they have mental health problems. In addition, Donald et al., (2000) also found out that young people cited the issue of confidentiality among the leading barriers that inhibit them from seeking help from mental health professionals. There are many other factors that have been singled out by students as barriers inhibiting self-seeking behaviors including fear, anxiety, shame, and autonomy.