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Coping Beliefs and Attitudes Towards Counseling

Perceptions Toward Counseling

This section summarizes the data on students’ beliefs about coping, help-seeking, and general issues of counseling. The semi-structured interview contained specific questions which asked students about their psychological help-seeking beliefs and behaviors.

Many students in this study are very unlikely to seek help from a counselor or professional psychologists. Students attribute this to a number of reasons, which appear to be culturally driven.

Lack of Knowledge Counseling

Chinese students who come to the United States bring with them their lack of familiarity with Western notions of counseling services. Counseling services are new to many Chinese students. Some of them are not sure if there is a counseling center available on campus or how it works. Others do not make the connection between their personal problems and receiving professional help.

An electronic engineering student stated what most Chinese students believed:

Most Chinese students here chose not to use the counseling services when they met problems. I do not know where these counselors are and how they can help with my problems. I do not think it is for me. It is not familiar to my thinking. So, I do not even consider talking to a counselor about my concern. (Participant 7)

A biochemistry student concurred:

I am not unaware of the counseling center available on campus and am also uncertain what types of concerns they address. I think it is because of the different background. We have no such a thing or idea in China. (Participant 9)

A music student disclosed:

I was aware of the counseling center’s presence, but I thought it did not serve international students. (Participant 12)

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