The Professional Counselor
Researchers used path analysis to examine self-stigma, help seeking, and alcohol and other drug (AOD) use in a community sample of individuals (N = 406) recruited through the crowdsourcing platform MTurk. Self-stigma of help seeking contributed to AOD use and was mediated by help-seeking attitudes. We discuss the implications for advocacy and stigma reduction in substance use treatment. Counselors and counselor educators can implement and advocate for interventions and training that increase positive attitudes toward seeking help, such as providing appropriate training with supervisees and counselors-in-training, providing clients and the community with mental health literacy, and engaging in more advocacy. Moreover, they can challenge thoughts of seeking help as weakness, normalize seeking psychological help, and discuss the benefits of counseling and therapy to address the development and effects of self-stigma of help seeking for individuals with substance use issues.
Gutierrez, Daniel; Crowe, Allison; Mullen, Patrick R.; Pignato, Laura; and Fan, Shuhui, Stigma, Help Seeking, and Substance Use (2020). The Professional Counselor, 10(2), 220-234.
The Professional Counselor (TPC) is the official journal of the National Board for Certified Counselors, Inc. and Affiliates (NBCC), dedicated to publishing original and innovative peer-reviewed research and scholarship in an electronic, open-access format to inform counselors and members of related helping professions.