Reaching Out: College Student Perceptions of Counseling

Kylie Dotson-Blake and David Knox

 

East Carolina University

 

Angela R. Holman

 

University of North Carolina Pembroke

 

 

 

 

 


 

Abstract

This study explored the perceptions of college students regarding the benefits of counseling, their willingness to seek counseling and specifically their willingness to engage in counseling relevant to relationship concerns. Data were assessed and analyzed by class level, race/ethnicity, and gender. The findings revealed a greater willingness on the part of upperclassmen and graduate students to seek counseling, engage in couples counseling for relationship concerns and to discuss emotions and feelings. In the specific area of couples counseling, female and European American participants were more likely to indicate a willingness to participate in couples counseling than male participants and participants identifying as members of racial minority groups. Implications related to the findings are provided.

 

College Student Perceptions of Couples Counseling

     College is a time of development, transition and relationships (Schulenberg et al., 2001). As college students matriculate through classes, they are also engaged in progressive cognitive and emotional development (Lovell, 1999). This process promotes greater complexity of thought and expression of emotion and can prove a tumultuous journey for some students (Moore, 2002). As students attain higher levels of cognitive and emotional development, they become more self-aware while also engaging in a parallel process of connecting with others in complex and exciting ways.

     Perry (1981) outlined a model of intellectual and ethical development comprised of nine levels along a continuum including: levels 1-2 (dualism), characterized by dualistic worldviews in which there are clear right and wrong answers, levels 3-4 (multiplicity) characterized by a gradual acceptance of multiple and conflicting views, level 5 (relativism) in which students are at a relativistic position with the understanding that context is imperative for understanding, level 6 (committed relativism) indicated by willingness to make choices and commit to a plan or solution, levels 7-9 (commitment) noted by the undertaking of commitments and ability to come to term with the implications of these commitments. From a study of 500 undergraduates at Harvard, over the course of a 20 year time span, Perry (1998) discerned that students in their freshman year are typically functioning at stage 2, dualism, the hallmarks of which are the acknowledgement of different perspectives and with the intense belief that one’s own perspective is correct and others are wrong (Moore, 2002). As students transition from dualism into multiplicity, stages 3 and 4, they become more accepting of alternative viewpoints and uncertainty. As students advance in class rank, they also become more aware of the process of decision making and more reflective concerning relationships (Baxter Magolda, 1992). The process of becoming more aware of differing opinions and perceptions, separateness, and interrelatedness with others encourages students to evaluate their personal relationships and can serve as a considerable source of stress for college students.

     In the face of coming to terms with their connectedness and separateness with and from others and in confronting differing perceptions, Bishop, Bauer, and Becker (1998) reported that college students exhibit greater indicators of stress than ever before. In a study of racial and ethnic minority undergraduates, Constantine, Chen, and Ceesay (1997) found that relationships with family members, depression, and relationships with romantic partners were the top three self-reported concerns. Additionally, a study of counseling center directors revealed that the presenting concerns of student clients are increasing in severity of symptom and psychopathology (Gallagher, Gill, & Sysco, 2000). In the face of multiple stressors, developmental transitions, and subsequently increasing psychological distress, contemporary college students may benefit from counseling opportunities on campus. Unfortunately, barriers including stigma (Golberstein, Eisenberg, & Gollust., 2008) and misinformation (Komiya, Good, & Sherrod, 2000), limit the percentage of college students who seek counseling services on campus. This reluctance of college students to seek counseling impedes access to mental health resources on campus, thus limiting the ability of college counselors to help these students with the stress, relationship issues and developmental concerns they encounter.

     Thus, to better understand how to encourage undergraduate and graduate students to utilize counseling services available on campus to help with relationship concerns, individual stressors and developmental transitions, this study explored student perceptions of counseling. The survey was conducted at a large southeastern university and involved both undergraduates and graduate students. Data were assessed and analyzed by class level in recognition of the developmental transitions facing students. Furthermore, the relationships between reported perceptions and gender and ethnicity/race were investigated. An expanded discussion of scholarship relevant to the study is interwoven throughout the presentation of findings linking the results of this study and the current professional literature.

Methodology and Sample

     The data for this study involved a convenience sample of 288 students (159 undergraduates and 29 graduate students) enrolled in on-campus classes at a large southeastern university. Though there were a minimal number of graduate students included in the sample, their responses were included to allow for further exploration of developmental shifts in response patterns. Respondents completed the questionnaire anonymously and no identifying information or codes allowed the researcher to identify the respondents.  The 56-item questionnaire was approved by the university’s Institutional Review Board (see Appendix for survey). Items on the questionnaire were presented using a Likert-type scale ranging from 1-Strongly Agree to 5-Strongly Disagree.  The categories of strongly agree and agree were combined for the “agree” category, indicating positive response; similarly, strongly disagree and disagree were combined to form the “disagree” category, indicating negative response. Chi-square and correlational analyses were used to identify significant differences and relationships.

     The majority (69.8%) of respondents were female; 30.2% male.  The median age of respondents was 20 with a range of 17 to 56. Over half of respondents were first year students (53.8%) with 21.9% sophomore, 9% junior, 5.2% senior and 10.1% graduate students. Racial identification was 65.3% European American, 22.6% African American, 3.8% Latino, 4.5% Asian, 1.4% Biracial, and 2.4% identified as other.  About half (49.7%) of respondents noted that they were “emotionally involved” with a partner; 29.9% were “not involved” with anyone, 4.3% were married and 2.1% were engaged. 

Findings and Discussion

     Analysis of the data revealed significant differences between demographic groups in perceptions of the benefits of counseling, willingness to engage in counseling and perceptions of the benefits of counseling to specifically address relationship issues. By exploring broadly participants’ willingness to engage in counseling and levels of comfort with the counseling process, the researchers hoped to discern characteristics of students likely to seek counseling. As the literature suggested that relationships were of primary concern for college students, the willingness of students to engage in counseling related to relationship issues may prove helpful in developing counseling strategies to assist students, thus this component was explored as well. These findings are discussed in greater detail below.

Differences within talking about feeling and expressing emotions.

     Upperclassmen, including junior and senior students, and graduate students reported being more comfortable talking about their feelings than students identifying as freshmen and sophomores.  Almost 100 percent (97%) of the graduate students, 87% of the seniors and 80% of juniors, in contrast to 74% of the freshmen and 70% of the sophomores reported that they felt “comfortable talking about my feelings” (p < .01).  Since therapy is a context in which one is encouraged to get in touch with and talk about one’s feelings, we are not surprised that age, education, and life experience translated into greater emotional comfort in talking about one’s feelings. Supporting this finding, in a study of United States Military Academy Cadets, Lewis et al. (2005) found that students became more psychologically mature as they progressed through class levels in college, with 43.7% of seniors as compared to 15.8% of freshman demonstrating the ability to critically reflect on one’s feelings and emotions. Consequently, it is possible to predict that, developmentally students are likely to become increasingly comfortable talking about their feelings as indicated by the findings of this study.

     Additionally, students identifying as upperclassmen and graduate students indicated greater comfort expressing their feelings than freshmen and sophomores. Ninety-seven percent of the graduate students, 93% of the seniors, and 77% of juniors, in contrast to 72% of the freshmen and 73% of the sophomores reported that they felt “comfortable expressing my emotions” (p < .01).   The authors differentiated between comfort “talking about feelings” as a cognitive skill (e.g. “I am sad/angry/happy” and “expressing my emotions’ which reflects an emotional capacity (e.g. “I love you” “I feel betrayed”). Related to the increased maturity of seniors and graduate students as theorized by Kegan (1982), Perry (1981), and Chickering (1969) found that higher-ranking students (e.g. seniors, etc.) exhibited increased comfort with the idea of making emotional disclosures.  Such increased comfort expressing emotions is consistent with the seven vectors of Chickering's (1969) theory of college student development. Two of the seven vectors describe one’s increased ability to manage emotions and create interpersonal relationships with progression through the college experience. Emotional disclosure is an important component of the therapeutic process and an individual's comfort disclosing emotions or expressing feelings is a strong predictor of help-seeking attitudes (Vogel & Wester, 2003).       

Differences between associations of counseling with weakness

     Students identifying as seniors and graduate students were less likely than freshmen and sophomores to regard a person who seeks therapy as “weak.” Not one graduate student or senior (0%) in contrast 4% of freshmen and 5% of sophomores felt the label of “weak” was appropriate for a person seeking therapy (p < .05). Mackenzie, Gekoski, and Knox (2006) found in their survey of 206 adults from ages 18-89 found that attitudes towards help seeking from professionals such as primary care physicians and mental health professionals became more positive with age. Help seeking attitudes are a significant predictor of intention to use psychological services (Vogel & Wester, 2003).

Differences in willingness to discuss relationship issues with a counselor

     Seniors and graduate students surveyed were more willing than freshmen and sophomore students to see a counselor to discuss a relationship issue. 90% of the graduate students and 67% of the seniors in contrast to 55% of the freshmen and 57% of the sophomores agreed that they would see a counselor to discuss a relationship issue (p < .01). This finding supported earlier research that age influences individuals’ willingness to utilize counseling services (Martin, 2005). Ciarrochi, Deane, Wilson, and Rickwood (2002) reported that 90% of adolescents choose to reach out to peers to discuss their mental health concerns, rather than consulting a mental health professional. However, as individuals mature, they become more likely to report positive attitudes towards counseling for relationship and interpersonal issues (Martin, 2005; Esters, Cooker, & Ittenbach, 1998).

Differences in perceived benefits of couple’s counseling

     Seniors and graduate students were more likely to perceive benefits of couple’s therapy than freshmen and sophomores.  One hundred percent of the 29 graduate students and 87% of the seniors agreed that “couples can benefit from couples counseling.”  These percentages were in contrast to the percents for freshmen and sophomores, 75% and 76% respectively (p < .01).  Hence, this survey discerned that the more education the student has achieved (and presumably the older the student), the more valuable couples therapy is perceived to be by students.  This finding is supported by Oliver, Reed, and Smith’s (1998) assertion that as people advance chronologically and psychosocially, they are more likely to express positive attitudes toward utilizing counseling services. We surmise that having more relationship experience over time provides for one the perspective that problems and conflicts occur and that individuals consider the benefit of having a third party perspective.

    In addition to being more approving and actually seeing a couples’ therapist, seniors and graduate students, when compared to freshmen and sophomores were almost twice as likely to insist that a partner be willing to see a marriage counselor.  In response to the statement on the questionnaire “I would not marry someone if they would not see a marriage counselor if we needed one” 30% (average of senior/grad percent) of the seniors and graduate students agreed versus 17% (average of freshmen/sophomore percent) of the freshmen and sophomores (p < .01).  As students mature chronologically, they engage in many experiences promoting psychosocial growth and development (Erikson, 1963). Tinsley, Hinson, Holt, and Tinsley’s (1990) study of undergraduates discerned that students who are at higher stages of psychosocial development expressed more positive expectations of counseling. As such, we attribute the greater insistence on the part of seniors and grad students to their increased relationship experience, psychosocial development and the positive expectation that couples’ counseling may help.

Gender differences in willingness to participate in couples counseling

     Female students included in this study indicated a greater willingness than male students to see a couples counselor. Over ninety percent of the females (93%) in contrast to 81.6% of the males agreed that they would be willing to see a marriage counselor before getting a divorce (p < .01). This finding is consistent with previous research that women, compared to men, are more relationship oriented (Crossley & Langdridge, 2005) and more concerned than men about solving relationship problems (Knox, Hatfield, & Zusman, 1998).  Only two percent of the females and 10.3% of the males (p < .01) agreed that “If you have to see a marriage counselor to work on problems, your marriage won’t survive anyway.”  In effect, these women felt that problems are normative and that a third party (counselor) may help.  Men were more likely to feel the marriage was over if you needed a marriage counselor, supporting Leong and Zachar’s (1999) assertion that women are more likely to seek help than men.

Racial differences in willingness to participate in couples counseling

     European Americans indicated greater willingness than African Americans and Asians to see a counselor for couples and relationship concerns. Over 90% of European Americans (93%) in contrast to 86% of African Americans and 85% of Asian students agreed that they would be willing to see a couples counselor before getting a divorce (p < .01).  This finding may be better understood by looking at the cultural characteristics of the counseling profession. Unfortunately, counseling and psychology continue to be professions that remain racially homogenous, with many more counselors being of European-American descent than of other ethnic backgrounds (American Psychological Association, 2010).  In light of student expectations regarding counselor race, namely that the counselor may likely be European American, African Americans and Asian American students may be less willing to see a couples counselor due to concerns about cultural conflict and mistrust of the counseling relationship (Constantine, Wilton, & Caldwell, 2003).  African Americans may not feel that a white counselor understands the cultural context of African American families.  And, there is the traditional mistrust between the races that may still be operative. Former Surgeon General David Satcher also noted client mistrust as a factor explaining underutilization of mental health facilities by minority clients (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2001).

Implications

     This study has three implications. First, college administrators, faculty, administrators, and college counselors should combine efforts to include in freshmen orientation content that “individual and interpersonal problems are common among college students” and that “seeking help via counseling is an option to consider.”  The unbiased perspective and input of a third party (e.g. counselor) can be helpful is a worthy value to socialize the college freshmen to accept (rather than wait for “maturity” to kick in three years later).

     Second, counselors should also encourage the freshmen orientation content to include that the male student is particularly vulnerable to “going it alone” and denying any value that counselors might provide.  Women are more receptive to reaching out for help; men need to be encouraged that doing so does not threaten their masculinity.

     Third, counselors might also be mindful that African Americans are less apt to seek therapy since they may fear not being understood culturally and for a general mistrust of mental health facilities. Hiring African American counselors is one option colleges and universities might consider to help address this concern.  

Limitations

     The data for this study should be interpreted cautiously.  The convenience sample of 288 undergraduate and graduate students from a southeastern university is hardly representative of the almost 20 million full time undergraduate/graduate students throughout the United States (Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2008). The data for this study are also quantitative with no qualitative interviews to provide insights on the raw statistics. Subsequent research might include interviews with university undergraduates and graduate students to discover their feelings about therapy, experiences, etc. Finally, this study is an exploratory analysis that should be followed up with multivariate analysis to develop a more complete and accurate understanding of views toward the therapeutic experience.


References

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Baxter Magolda, M. B. (1992). Knowing and reasoning in college: Gender-related patterns in students’ intellectual development. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Bishop, J., Bauer, K., & Becker, E. (1998). A survey of counseling needs of male and female college students. Journal of College Student Development, 39, 205-210.

Chickering, A. W.  (1969).  Education and identity. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Ciarrochi, J., Deane, F., Wilson, C., & Rickwood, D. (2002). Adolescents who need help the most are the least likely to seek it: The relationship between low emotional competence and low intention to seek help. British Journal of Guidance and Counseling, 30(2), 173–188.

Constantine, M. G., Chen, E. C., & Ceesay, P. (1997). Intake concerns of racial and ethnic minority students at a university counseling center: Implications for development programming and outreach. Journal of Multicultural Counseling & Development, 25(3), 210-218.

Constantine, M. G., Wilton, L., & Caldwell, L. (2003). The role of social support in moderating the relationship between psychological distress and willingness to seek psychological help among Black and Latino college students. Journal of College Counseling, 6, 155-176.

Crossley, A., & Langdridge, D. (2005). Perceived sources of happiness:  A network analysis.  Journal of Happiness, 6, 107-135

Erikson, E. (1963). Childhood and society (2nd ed.). New York: Norton.

Esters, I. G., Cooker, P. G., & Ittenbach, R. F.  (1998). Effects of a unit of instruction in mental health on rural adolescents’ conceptions of mental illness and attitudes about seeking help. Adolescence, 33, 469–476.

Gallagher, R., Gill, A.,  & Sysco, H. (2000). National survey of counseling center directors. Alexandria, VA: International Association of Counseling Services.

Golberstein, E., Eisenberg, D., & Gollust, S. E. (2008). Perceived stigma and mental health care seeking.  Psychiatric Services, 59, 392-399

Kegan, R. (1982). The evolving self: Problem and process in human development. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Knox, D., Hatfield, S., & Zusman, M. E. (1998). College student discussion of relationship problems. College Student Journal, 32, 19–21.

Komiya, N., Good, G. E., & Sherrod, N. B. (2000). Emotional openness as a predictor of college students’ attitudes toward seeking psychological help. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 47, 138-143.

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Lovell, C. (1999). Empathic-cognitive development in students of counseling. Journal of Adult Development, 6(4), 195-203.

MacKenzie, C., Gekoski, W., & Knox, V. (2006). Age, gender, and the underutilization of mental health services: The influence of help-seeking attitudes. Aging and Mental Health, 10(6) 574-582.

Martin, S. B.  (2005). High school and college athletes’ attitudes toward sport psychology consulting. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, 17, 127-139.

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Tinsley, D. J., Hinson, J. A., Holt, M. S., & Tinsley, H. E. A. (1990). Level of psychosocial development, perceived level of psychological difficulty, counseling readiness, and expectations about counseling: Examination of group differences. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 37(2), 143-148.

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Appendix

 

Attitudes toward Marriage, Family, and Sex Therapy

 

Dotson-Blake, K. P., Knox, D., & Holman, A. R., 2007

 

              You are asked to voluntarily participate in a study designed to assess your attitudes toward marriage, family, and sex therapy. If you choose to participate in this study, please complete this questionnaire, which will take about 10 minutes.  Participation is completely voluntary and no compensation, monetary or otherwise (grade), is provided for your participation.  Should you be willing to participate, you may elect to skip questions and select only those to which you choose to respond.  Your responses are confidential and anonymous.  No identifying code will be attached to any response.  The researcher will not be present at the time volunteers respond to the questionnaire.  An envelope is available at the front of the class in which you are asked to slip your questionnaire face down.

 

1.  Sex 

    ( ) Male

    ( ) Female

 

2.  I regard myself as:

     ( ) White      

     ( ) Black    

     ( ) Hispanic

     ( ) Asian 

     ( ) Biracial

     ( ) Other

 

3.  On your last birthday, how old were you? ___________

 

4.  Which of the following best describes your current relationship status:  

      ( ) not dating and not involved with anyone

      ( ) casually dating different people

      ( ) emotionally involved with one person

      ( ) engaged

      ( ) married 

 

5.  My class standing in college is:       

     ( ) Freshman          ( ) Sophomore           ( ) Junior          ( ) Senior              ( ) Graduate

6.  Regarding religion, I am:

     ( ) very religious

     ( ) moderately religious

     ( ) about midway

     ( ) moderately not religious

     ( ) not religious at all

 

7. I consider myself:

     ( ) heterosexual  ( ) bisexual  ( ) gay male  ( ) lesbian female  ( ) other (explain____________)

 

8.  I take medication for emotional/mental health reasons.

Strongly            Agree                 Neither Agree                               Disagree              Strongly

Agree                                              nor Disagree                                                        Disagree         

      1                          2                             3                                  4                               5

9. I have a very positive self-concept.

Strongly            Agree                 Neither Agree                               Disagree              Strongly

Agree                                              nor Disagree                                                        Disagree         

      1                          2                             3                                  4                               5

 

10. I feel comfortable talking about my feelings.

Strongly            Agree                 Neither Agree                               Disagree              Strongly

Agree                                              nor Disagree                                                        Disagree         

      1                          2                             3                                  4                               5

 

11. I feel comfortable expressing my emotions.

Strongly            Agree                 Neither Agree                               Disagre                Strongly

Agree                                              nor Disagree                                                        Disagree         

      1                          2                             3                                  4                               5

 

12. People who see a therapist are “weak” and should be able to take care of their own problems.

Strongly            Agree                 Neither Agree                               Disagree              Strongly

Agree                                              nor Disagree                                                        Disagree         

      1                          2                             3                                  4                               5

 

13. I believe students who utilize the services at our campus counseling center are viewed as “weak” by other students.

Strongly            Agree                 Neither Agree                               Disagree              Strongly

Agree                                              nor Disagree                                                        Disagree         

      1                          2                             3                                  4                               5

 

14. I would divorce my spouse if I no longer loved him or her.

Strongly            Agree                 Neither Agree                               Disagree              Strongly

Agree                                              nor Disagree                                                        Disagree         

      1                          2                             3                                  4                               5

 

15. I would end a relationship with a partner who cheated on me.

Strongly            Agree                 Neither Agree                               Disagree              Strongly

Agree                                              nor Disagree                                                        Disagree         

      1                          2                             3                                  4                               5

 

16.  I would be willing to see a marriage counselor before I got a divorce.

Strongly            Agree                 Neither Agree                               Disagree              Strongly

Agree                                              nor Disagree                                                        Disagree         

      1                          2                             3                                  4                               5

17. I think if you have to see a marriage counselor to work on problems your marriage won’t survive anyway.

Strongly            Agree                 Neither Agree                               Disagree              Strongly

Agree                                              nor Disagree                                                        Disagree         

      1                          2                             3                                  4                               5

      1                          2                             3                                  4                               5

 

18. I would not marry someone if they would not see a marriage counselor if we needed one.

Strongly            Agree                 Neither Agree                               Disagree             Strongly

Agree                                             nor Disagree                                                        Disagree         

      1                          2                             3                                  4                               5

 

19.  I have seen a counselor on campus in reference to a relationship problem I have had.

    ( ) Yes

    ( ) No

 

20. If I were having a relationship problem, I would be willing to see a counselor on campus.

Strongly            Agree                 Neither Agree                               Disagree              Strongly

Agree                                              nor Disagree                                                        Disagree         

      1                          2                             3                                  4                               5

 

21. If my partner and I felt we needed it, I would see a counselor at the university I attend for couples counseling.

Strongly            Agree                 Neither Agree                               Disagree              Strongly

Agree                                              nor Disagree                                                        Disagree         

      1                          2                             3                                  4                               5

 

22. I think couples can benefit from relationship counseling. .

Strongly            Agree                 Neither Agree                               Disagree              Strongly

Agree                                              nor Disagree                                                        Disagree         

      1                          2                             3                                  4                               5

 

23. I am much too private a person to discuss a relationship problem with a counselor.

Strongly            Agree                 Neither Agree                               Disagree              Strongly

Agree                                              nor Disagree                                                        Disagree         

      1                          2                             3                                  4                               5

 

24. I would be uncomfortable discussing a relationship problem with a counselor. .

Strongly            Agree                 Neither Agree                               Disagree              Strongly

Agree                                              nor Disagree                                                        Disagree         

      1                          2                             3                                  4                               5

 

25. I do not trust a relationship counselor to keep private (not tell anyone) my secrets. . .

Strongly            Agree                 Neither Agree                               Disagree              Strongly

Agree                                              nor Disagree                                                        Disagree         

      1                          2                             3                                  4                               5

26. My parents have an excellent marriage.

Strongly            Agree                 Neither Agree                               Disagree              Strongly

Agree                                              nor Disagree                                                        Disagree         

      1                          2                             3                                  4                               5

 

27.  My parents have seen a marriage counselor?

    ( ) Yes

    ( ) No

    ( ) Don’t know

 

28.  My parents could probably benefit from seeing a marriage therapist.

Strongly            Agree                 Neither Agree                               Disagree              Strongly

Agree                                              nor Disagree                                                        Disagree         

      1                          2                             3                                  4                               5

 

29.  I have a friend who has seen a relationship counselor.

    ( ) Yes

    ( ) No

 

30.  I have a friend who has seen a sex therapist.

    ( ) Yes

    ( ) No

 

31. I think that sex is an important part of a couples’ relationship.

Strongly            Agree                 Neither Agree                               Disagree              Strongly

Agree                                              nor Disagree                                                        Disagree         

      1                          2                             3                                  4                               5

 

32.  If I had a sexual problem, I would be willing to see a sex therapist.

Strongly            Agree                 Neither Agree                               Disagree              Strongly

Agree                                              nor Disagree                                                        Disagree         

      1                          2                             3                                  4                               5

 

33. If I had a sexual problem, I would be willing to see a counselor on campus.

Strongly            Agree                 Neither Agree                               Disagree              Strongly

Agree                                              nor Disagree                                                        Disagree         

      1                          2                             3                                  4                               5

 

34.  I have seen a counselor on campus in reference to a sex problem I was having. .

    ( ) Yes

    ( ) No

 

35. I think couples can benefit from sex therapy. .

Strongly            Agree                 Neither Agree                               Disagree              Strongly

Agree                                              nor Disagree                                                        Disagree         

      1                          2                             3                                  4                               5

 

36. I am much too private a person to discuss a sexual problem with a counselor.

Strongly            Agree                 Neither Agree                               Disagree              Strongly

Agree                                              nor Disagree                                                        Disagree         

      1                          2                             3                                  4                               5

 

37. I would be uncomfortable discussing a sexual problem with a counselor. .

Strongly            Agree                 Neither Agree                               Disagree              Strongly

Agree                                              nor Disagree                                                        Disagree         

      1                          2                             3                                  4                               5

 

38. I do not trust a sex therapist to keep private (not tell anyone) my secrets. . .

Strongly            Agree                 Neither Agree                               Disagree              Strongly

Agree                                              nor Disagree                                                        Disagree         

      1                          2                             3                                  4                               5

 

39.  There is love at first sight.

    ( ) Yes

    ( ) No

 

40. There is only one person you can fall in love with and be happy with.

    ( ) Yes

    ( ) No

 

41.  If you love someone enough you will be able to resolve your problems with that person.

    ( ) Yes

    ( ) No

 

42.  We determine whatever happens to us, and nothing is predestined.

Strongly            Agree                 Neither Agree                               Disagree              Strongly

Agree                                              nor Disagree                                                        Disagree         

      1                          2                             3                                  4                               5

 

43. Some things just happen to us and we can’t plan or stop it.

Strongly            Agree                 Neither Agree                               Disagree              Strongly

Agree                                              nor Disagree                                                        Disagree         

      1                          2                             3                                  4                               5

 

44. Counselors are college educated.

    ( ) Yes

    ( ) No

 

45. Counselors are trained to help people with sexual problems.

    ( ) Yes

    ( ) No

 

46.  Counselors are trained to help couples with relationship problems.

    ( ) Yes

    ( ) No

 

47. Counselors in college counseling centers are college educated.

    ( ) Yes

    ( ) No

 

48. Counselors in college counseling centers are trained to help people with sexual problems.

    ( ) Yes

    ( ) No

 

49.  Counselors in college counseling centers are trained to help couples with relationship problems.

    ( ) Yes

    ( ) No

 

50. When I consider the age of a potential counselor, I would most prefer to work with a counselor who is

( ) older than I am

( ) about my same age

( ) younger than I am

( ) I have no preference about the age of my counselor

 

51. When I consider the race of a potential counselor, I would most prefer to work with a counselor who is

( ) the same race I am

( ) a different race than I am

( ) I have no preference about the race of my counselor

 

52. When I consider how I prefer a counselor to look, I would most prefer to work with a counselor who is

( ) dressed in business attire

( ) dressed casually

( ) I have no preference about how my counselor is dressed

 

53. When I consider where I would be comfortable meeting with a counselor, I would be most comfortable meeting

( ) in the counselor’s home

( ) in a small counseling office

( ) in a large counseling center

 

54. When I consider the sexuality of a potential counselor, I would most prefer to work with a counselor who’s sexuality

( ) is the same as mine

( ) is different than mine

( ) I have no preference about my counselor’s sexuality

 

55. I would like to be a marriage and family therapist as my profession.

    ( ) Yes

    ( ) No

 

56.  My friends seem to come to me for advice so I end up being their “counselor.”   

   ( ) Yes

   ( ) No