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An American study showed that 39% of respondents thought that counselling was too expensive, while 35% said their problem was not serious enough to seek therapy. 32% said that counselling will not work for them, and men were twice as likely to say ‘I don’t trust therapists.’ and ‘I don’t want to associate myself with people who get therapy.’

Rural Australians may have different attitudes and beliefs than urban Australians. Men may differ from women. But the study results suggested that nearly three quarters of people, men and women, tend to believe that counselling will be of help when issues become hard enough that seeking help is necessary.

The subjective nature of these attitudes is fascinating. Some people seek therapy for what others might see as minor issues. Others seek therapy for what have become debilitating conditions with chronic long-term manifestations.

Many people today see the patterns of how so-called minor issues become major and chronic health issues later down the track. As our perceptions of “working with our brains for a change” sink in, attitudes and habits toward the helping professions change.

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