Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy


Education, Counseling

Date of Defense


Graduate Advisor

Mark Pope, Ed.D.


Mark Pope, Ed.D.

R. Rocco Cottone, Ph.D.

Susan Kashubeck-West, Ph.D.

Jan Munro, Ph.D.


This study surveyed a sample of 255 mental health counselors in the United States and used descriptive statistics, chi-square tests, one-way ANOVA, and logistic regression analysis to investigate the prevalence of mental health problems and help seeking, the perceived barriers to, and predictors of help seeking for mental health problems among mental health counselors. In this sample, 62.6% (n = 159) reported they had experienced a mental health problem during the time since licensure. Of those, 13.2% (n = 21) reported they had not received treatment. “Handling the problem on my own” was the most cited barrier to help seeking, followed by “not being able to afford the financial costs,” “difficulty taking time off, and “having had bad experiences with mental health care.” The study also found that increased help-seeking self- stigma predicted decreased intention to seek help from a mental health professional, while experience of role model disclosure of positive experiences with mental health treatment predicted increased intention to seek help. A limitation of this study was the use of availability sampling which resulted in a non-representative sample, skewed toward white, non-Hispanic, females. Important areas for future research include studies with larger more representative samples, studies of interventions to encourage help seeking in mental health counselors, studies of other potential predictors of help seeking, and studies to develop instruments for use specifically with mental health counselors. The study findings underscore the importance of more open dialogue about these issues within the counseling profession to support and encourage help seeking in mental health counselors and find ways to ensure that mental health counselors have the information and resources they need to access quality mental health care.