Harming the Help-Seeking: Necessity for Assessing Harmful and Biased Attitudes Toward Clients with Substance Use Disorder
Doctor in Psychology (Psy. D.)
Numerous times, as a new clinician, I have witnessed the substance use disorder population referred to as not being dependable, dangerous, burnt out, and even hopeless. Often times I have heard mental health professionals make statements amongst themselves that the client could not be helped, referred to them as a “frequent flyer,” (meant to convey they frequently present for treatment, relapse, and return for treatment), and complain how tax dollars are being wasted to support the client. I felt empathy and a sense of hopelessness for these clients as they were seeking treatment in order to get help and yet they were faced with the potential of harm from clinicians with what appeared to be biased and negative attitudes. This project addresses the need to assess bias from the clinician’s perspective and the construction of a scale to measure this bias. This population experiences bias and stigma from society and is at risk for harm if they experience that bias from the clinician whom they are seeking help from. My hope is that this scale will aid in raising awareness to this issue, reduce stigma, and thus reduce harm within the treatment of this population.
Jerry Palmer, PhD
Theresa Botts, PhD
Dustin Wygant, PhD
2021 Crystal D McDowell
McDowell, Crystal D. and McDowell, Crystal Dawn, "Harming the Help-Seeking: Necessity for Assessing Harmful and Biased Attitudes Toward Clients with Substance Use Disorder" (2021). Psychology Doctoral Specialization Projects. 16.
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