Although many people experience psychological problems over their lifetime,
not everyone seeks treatment. Not everyone is willing to get psychotherapy for
problems they experience. More women than men get psychotherapy, and people who are
more educated and who have medical insurance are also more likely to seek treatment.
Barriers to Getting Treatment
People may not seek treatment even if they feel they need it. Common
barriers to getting treatment are:
- Concerns about the cost of treatment
- Lack of health insurance
- The stigma associated with getting psychological treatment
Psychotherapy for Cultural and Ethnic Minorities
Modern psychotherapy is based on individualistic values, and many
researchers have argued that such therapy may not be readily applied to
ethnic minorities in the United States. Ethnic and cultural minorities may
face several barriers to receiving psychotherapy:
- Some cultural groups may be hesitant to seek help from professionals,
particularly in institutional settings such as hospitals and clinics. They
may instead prefer to seek informal help from family, friends, elders, and
- Cultural minorities may find it difficult to get psychotherapy
services because therapists who speak their language are unavailable.
- Therapists trained to treat mainly white, middle-class clients may not
be familiar with or responsive to the needs of clients from different ethnic
and cultural backgrounds.