Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work


School of Social Work

First Reader/Committee Chair

Dr. Nicole L. Arkadie (R-K-D), EdD, LCSW, PPSC


This study explored barriers to seeking psychotherapy services across racial and ethnic groups among adults of 18 years of age or older (2) any individual who has considered, sought, or received mental health services (3) residing in Southern California. The surveys consisted of questions from the Barriers to Mental Health Services Scale Revised (BMHSS-R) sub-scales; Help Seeking, Stigma, Knowledge and Fear of Psychotherapy, Belief about Inability to Find a Psychotherapist, and Belief that Depressive Symptoms are Normal. It was hypothesized that Latino individuals face greater barriers when seeking psychotherapy services as compared to other racial groups. This study consisted of a sample size of Hispanic or Latino individuals (N=55).

Significant findings through the BMHSS-R subscale questions were that participants expressed moderate levels of seeking help due to feelings of difficulty in seeking mental health services, and high levels of feelings of seeing a psychotherapist as a sign of weakness. The study found that participants were moderately prone to normalizing feelings of sadness and had beliefs that feeling sad for circumstances of their life was normal. We concluded that participants had average responses on questions regarding knowledge of psychotherapy and more agreed that they were unfamiliar with reasons people receive psychotherapy services. Social workers must educate the public about mental health, advocate for accessible psychotherapy treatment, and create resolutions.

Additional Files

Research Project_Chavez_Rodarte.docx (741 kB)