Attitudes and beliefs regarding the utilisation of psychological resources were explored among a
group of black Africans of 18 years and older. Both males and females participated in focus groups
that were conducted at Itsoseng Clinic on the Mamelodi Campus of the University of Pretoria.
Discussion questions addressed participants’ perceptions of psychologists and psychotherapy,
barriers to seeking treatment and recommendations for improved service delivery. The focus group
responses indicated that reasons for seeking treatment included HIV&AIDS, problems related to the
participants’ socioeconomic situation, relationship issues and educational problems (learning problems,
career guidance and educational stress among tertiary learners). Key barriers to service
utilisation included the stigma of mental illness, lack of knowledge, affordability of treatment, lack of
trust, impersonal service and lack of cultural sensitivity. Participants discussed the issue of the
psychologist’s race, as they felt that many white psychologists lack sensitivity toward and knowledge
of black communities. Participants further stated that black psychologists were not much better due
to the acculturation that occurs during the training of black psychologists. Recommendations for more
culturally sensitive services are suggested. The implications of these findings for the practice and
profession of psychology are also examined.