Stigma Against Seeking Counseling Abby Dupuy Louisiana State University at Alexandria Individuals avoid seeking mental health treatment, like counseling, because they do not want to be stigmatized by the public or their peers (Corrigan, 2004). Stigma usually follows with shame and other negative perceptions that inhibit the ability to seek help. There are two types of stigma that are looked at in this research: the self-stigma and public stigma. Public stigma involves negative views towards the individual by society that make him/her socially unacceptable. Self-stigma is how the individual internally perceive their characteristics such as stress, depression, or anxiety and if they would be labeled for having that condition (Corrigan, 2004). Examining hindering influences in the search for counseling is crucial to creating strategies that strengthen opportunities between therapists and future patients to connect.
Individuals who struggle with interpersonal issues never pursue treatment. Vogel, Wade, and Hackler (2007) examine the interceded effects when looking at self-stigma and public stigma when looking for therapy and their eagerness to seek the necessary help. Results from the researcher’s study found that self-stigma and attitudes were the biggest factors when linking public stigma and willingness to pursue help.
Wu, Kalibatseva, Leong, Bathje, Sung, and Eaglin (2017) reports findings on the stigma against mental health services, depressive symptoms, thriving, and mental health service use among counseling using 8,285 university students who participated and finished the Healthy Minds Study. Identifying public perception stigma against using counseling services and investigating the demographic anticipators of group stigma associations and counseling service use. Results concluded meaningful dissimilarity between age, gender, race, mental health status, and use of therapy between the three groups. Results also showed that males or those of Asian ethnicity identified as having a strong need for counseling.
Baptista and Zanon (2017) discuss the decision to seek mental health treatment can lower internal discomfort and influences like public stigma, self-stigma, or fear of self-exposure to a therapist as barriers. The study involved 272 students answering assessment scales for determining variables when seeking therapy. Their results found that symptoms are a small influence compared to the approach of seeking therapy and stigmas.