Date of Conferral





Counselor Education and Supervision


Tina Jaeckle


Since the introduction of counseling services in Jamaica in the 1960s, young adults continue to encounter obstacles in utilizing the services made available to them. Some significant factors impacting how individuals use the professional counseling services are (a) the clients’ historical and political background, (b) the ill-treatment of people with mental illness, (c) cultural practices and values, (d) the stigma toward mental illness, and (e) knowledge deficiency concerning psychological issues and psychosis. This qualitative, hermeneutic phenomenological research describes the experiences of Jamaican adult college students in counseling with counseling professionals. Seven participants volunteered through the networking sample method from universities in Kingston and St Andrew Metropolitan area volunteered. Narrative data were collected through semistructured interviews and analyzed and organized using Moustakas modified Stevick-Colaizzi-Keen method, and the NVivo program, respectively. These actions facilitated the understanding of the lived experiences of the volunteers. The evolving categories included age differences, education deficiency, feelings, hindrances, negative views, nonprofessional help, positive responses, professional attitude, and rewarding results. These categories formed two significant themes: Support for Engaging in Professional Counseling and Barriers to Seeking and Accepting Professional Counseling. The social change implications involve the professionals’ developmental awareness of Jamaican college students’ counseling needs, and the counseling professionals’ and students in training multicultural competency development.