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J Couns Psychol. 2011 Apr;58(2):170-82. doi: 10.1037/a0022630.

Predictors of the change in self-stigma following a single session of group counseling.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, Iowa State University, w112 Lagomarcino Hall, Ames, IA 50011, USA. nwade@iastate.edu


One of the major obstacles to seeking psychological help is the stigma associated with counseling and therapy. Self-stigma, the fear of losing self-respect or self-esteem as a result of seeking help, is an important factor in the help-seeking process. In the present study, college students meeting a clinical cutoff for psychological symptoms participated in 1 session of group counseling that either contained therapist self-disclosure or did not. In general, participants reported significantly less self-stigma following the session. Working alliance-bond and session depth significantly predicted the change in self-stigma. Furthermore, self-stigma (as well as bond, depth, psychological symptoms, and being female) predicted the intention to seek help following the session. Self-stigma and session depth also predicted interest in continuing with counseling. The therapist self-disclosure condition, however, had no effect on the change in self-stigma, intentions to seek help, or interest in continuing with group counseling.

2011 APA, all rights reserved

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