Education and Human Sciences, College of (CEHS)


Date of this Version

Summer 8-31-2014


Williamson, M. (2014) The Reluctance of African Americans to Enter Therapy


A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Science, Major: Child, Youth, and Family Studies, Under the Supervision of Professor Yan Xia. Lincoln, Nebraska: August 2014

Copyright (c) 2014 Monique Williamson


This thesis is presented with the intent to explore the reasoning behind why members of the African-American culture are reluctant to enter into therapy. While the numbers of African-Americans who enter therapy continue to rise there are still persistent stigmas that make therapy a taboo option for solving problems. The goal of this qualitative study is to identify (1) if there truly is reluctance in the African-American community, (2) why the African-American community is reluctant, (3) what are the stigmas regarding mental health and therapy from the perspectives of American participants, and (4) what would help break the barriers to professional help seeking. With African Americans comprising a population of roughly 40 million people, therapists need to discover how to better serve this large population.

Advisor: Yan Xia