Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



College of Education and Human Services


Counseling, Rehabilitation Counseling & Counseling Psychology

Committee Chair

James W Bartee

Committee Co-Chair

Barnes Rowland Charline

Committee Member

Jeffrey Daniels

Committee Member

Christine Schimmel

Committee Member

Christina Wilson


A semi-structured interview was used to survey help-seeking attitude via questions about spirituality, therapy, and the connections between the two. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) was used to provide a framework for understanding how these factors potentially effect professional help-seeking attitudes in Black women and the role spirituality plays in developing help-seeking attitudes and the potential effect on professional psychological help. Ten interviews were conducted with Black women who lived or went to church in Akron, Ohio. Data from nine study participants were used and seven super-ordinate themes were found. The themes identified were as follows: 1) awareness and access; 2) God is enough; 3) informal therapy; 4) relationships; 5) spirituality; 6); therapy as a resource; and 7) upbringing. The findings suggested spirituality has a major impact on help-seeking attitude, the development of help seeking attitude, and potentially help-seeking behavior. Additionally, the significance of spirituality was evident in how participants discussed other themes, suggesting spirituality was intricately woven throughout the lived experience of the women. These findings are significant for clinicians who work with Black women who endorse spirituality as important in their lives and who uses spirituality as a psychological resource. The results provided a reference point for discussion and exploration about how spiritual factor are used in stressful times; and, whether or not the client has supplemented therapeutic approaches with spirituality. This is important as it could allow therapist to understand the efficacy of the strategies used with Black women or if those strategies, unbeknownst to the therapist, were being supplemented with elements of spirituality. Several questions surfaced based on the findings that may provide a foundation for future studies. Recommendations were made for moving this line of inquiry forward.