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 priests.
  • 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.

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