Applicants' Experience of Social Support in the Process of Seeking Psychotherapy
American Psychological Association
Examined informal social support during the process of seeking psychotherapy, conceptualized as four steps: realizing there is a problem; deciding therapy might help; deciding to seek therapy; and contacting the clinic. 315 psychotherapy applicants (aged 18–62 yrs) completed a questionnaire asking them whether they had talked to anyone about the problem prior to seeking therapy, whether they had help at any of the steps, and from whom they had obtained such help. Results indicated that social support was important across the process. Almost three-fourths of all Ss had help with at least 2 of the 4 steps, and almost one-third had help at all 4. Younger applicants had more help. Males more frequently had help from a spouse or romantic partner than females. Medical professionals were used primarily for referral to the clinic, rather than as sources of help at earlier steps.