Marc S. Dutch

Date of Award

January 2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Counseling Psychology & Community Services

First Advisor

Kara B. Wettersten


Rural Mental Health Therapists (RHMTs) face unique obsticles such as having to cover vast distances and isolation. Additionally, RHMTs also struggle with access to continuing education, training, supervision and other resources. Consequently, long tenured RHMTs tend to be at a disadvantage to acquiring and maintaining their ability to practice from an Evidence- Based Practice (EBP) approach in their clinical treatment. This study aims to better understand what Behavior Change factors effect RHMTs attitudes toward practicing from an EBP approach, as well as individual characteristics. Participants were 81 RHMTs practicing in a mental health capacity in the USA. Results indicated that Professional Growth, Training Utilization, Adaptability and Readiness for Change significantly predict attitudes of EBP: Requirements, Appeal, Openness and Divergence, with RMHTs. Additionally, RMHT characteristics (Gender, Level of Education, Previously Studied EBP, Number of EBP Courses Taken, Years Practicing, Type of Practice and Years in Position) were significantly related to either one or more attitudes toward EBP and/or Readiness to Change behavioral attitudes. Professional organizations, state licensing boards and policy makers may benefit from consideration of how an RMHT’s training is associated with their Behavior Change attitudes toward implementing EBP in their practice.