In a study conducted by psychologists at George Fox University, clinical psychology doctoral students and their professors examined factors that prevent clinical psychologists from seeking therapy. They found that the following factors prevent psychologists from seeking help:
- Social stigma
- Fears related to treatment
- Fear of emotions
- Expectations surrounding utility and risks
- Self-disclosure and privacy concerns
- Social norms
In addition, this study identified and addressed why psychologists will not seek psychotherapy. Common influences were:
- Difficulty finding an acceptable therapist
- Lack of time
- Lack of financial resources
- Difficulty admitting distress
- Professional stigma (fear of a loss of reputation)
- Personal stigma (fear of how others may view them)
Two significant factors are personal and professional stigma. Combined, personal and professional stigma normalize the belief that it is not okay to not be okay.
1) Model the behavior that it is okay to not be okay. This can mean seeking help or being open to talking about ways you have sought help.
2) Start the conversation. Create spaces where care providers are encouraged to seek the help they need, or are encouraged to talk about the help they might need, or where seeking help is simply normalized.
Jennifer L. Bearse et al., “Barriers to Psychologists Seeking Mental Health Care.,” Professional Psychology: Research and Practice 44, no. 3 (2013): 150–57, https://doi.org/10.1037/a0031182.
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