Academic journal article Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri

Factors Influencing Psychological Help Seeking in Adults: A Qualitative Study*

Academic journal article Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri

Factors Influencing Psychological Help Seeking in Adults: A Qualitative Study*

Article excerpt

Receiving psychological help is a coping behavior (Mojaverian, Hashimoto, & Kim, 2013), and in the literature about dealing with problems, it is seen as a reaction to stress and a mechanism that contributes to well-being (Wilson & Deane, 2010). Receiving psychological help is important because it decreases the long-term negative effects of mental health problems (Rickwood, Deane, & Wilson, 2007). The process of receiving psychological help starts when the necessity of these services is felt, and it ends when the necessity has been met by receiving psychological help (McKean, 2005). The results of studies in the literature demonstrate that just as there are both barriers effecting one's decision to receive psychological help, so are there facilitators (Hui, Wong, & Fu, 2014; Vogel, Wester, Wei, & Boysen, 2005).

In those studies citing barriers discouraging individuals from making the decision to receive psychological help (Wong, 2006), it has been found that 6% of the variance in individuals' willingness to seek help is explained by the barriers related to receiving that psychological help. This study demonstrate that the only meaningful factor explaining willingness to seek help is participants' own perception of how necessary it is for them to receive psychological help. This finding entails that the less a person feels help to be necessary, the less his desire to seek help is.

In another study, the factors preventing someone from seeking psychological help were studied (Sanders, Thompson, Brazile, & Akbar, 2004). It was seen that several factors impeded one from receiving psychological help such as the fear of stigmatization, lack of knowledge about psychological help process, lack of money, not trusting the practitioner, and feeling that the practitioner will be lack of cultural knowledge and differences.

In a study conducted by Setiawan (2006), the barriers to receiving psychological help from psychological services were studied, finding the most important of these barriers to be an individual's having friends or family. However, there were other barriers, including the price of the services, the desire to solve problems alone, the shame of sharing problems with other people, and not knowing which services are best. In Colloway's (2008) study, it was found that not only did one's fear of stigmatization, of treatment, and of being judged after expressing himself/herself hinder one from seeking and receiving psychological help, but so did individuals' tendency for suicide.

In an important study examining the obstacles to seeking help (Koydemir, Erel, Yumurtaci, & Sahin, 2010), it was found that people often believe that they can solve their own problems, a situation thought to be the most important obstacle in seeking help. The belief that a person can solve his/ her own problems without help from others, the unwillingness to accept help from friends, and the desire not to share problems with an expert were listed as the other factors blocking psychological help. In his study conducted with adults, Bicil (2012) found a negative relationship between the intention to receive psychological help and practical barriers preventing one from seeking psychological help.

Setiawan (2006) discovered that there are a number of factors facilitating people's decision to pursue psychological services. These include the availability of information about psychological help, the location of the psychological help, work hours and procedure, confidentiality policies, arranging money for services, and understanding the world of students, their thinking styles, and functions.

Another study revealed that encouraging someone to receive psychological help and knowing another who had previously received psychological help facilitate the seeking of psychological help (Vogel, Wade, Wester, Larson, & Hackler, 2007). Kakhnovets (2011) has shown that people who trust the psychological counselor, who think that the psychological counselor will also accept and trust them (facilitating conditions), and who think that the counselor will take a keen interest in their problems (support) have more positive attitudes toward receiving psychological help. …

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