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Frequently Asked Questions

I have never visited a therapist before, what should I expect in my first session?

In your first session, your therapist will spend some time getting to know you and the issues that brought you into treatment. He/she may use a formal, structured interview, or it may just feel like a more free-flowing conversation. The therapist will ask questions about your presenting concerns, as well as your history and background. Most likely, you’ll find yourself talking about your current symptoms or struggles, as well saying a bit about your relationships, your interests, your strengths, and your goals.

Most importantly, in that first session, you will begin making a connection with your therapist. You should feel safe, accepted, respected, and relatively comfortable. Not all therapists are right for every person, so use your first session to assess whether or not the therapist you chose feels like a good match for your personality.


During your first session, clients typically review an informed consent to counseling agreement, as well as providing identification and insurance information.  The average individual psychotherapy session runs 50 minutes.  You can decide to disengage or end your therapeutic work at any time.  Some people find that trying out therapy with multiple providers helps them find a good fit. Visiting your clinician’s website or professional profile online may give you an idea about their approach to treatment and what issues they have experience supporting.


Why do people seek help from mental health providers? 

While some people might think that there's a stigma surrounding mental health issues, we know that taking care of your mental health is just as important as taking care of your physical health. For some clients, therapy is a journey of self-discovery, relationship enrichment, vocational transition or other growth-oriented aims.  For others, it is more solution-focused, such as recovery from addiction.  People often seek relief from mood problems, like depression and anxiety, or resolution of traumatic experiences.  Adjusting to major life changes, grieving, meaning-making, developing insight, finding a direction forward in tough circumstances—these processes can be easier, faster and less painful with someone who is professionally trained walking alongside you for a while on your path. 

I or someone I love may be experiencing an immediate psychiatric or mental health emergency, what are some resources available to me?

You can call 9-1-1 and request psychiatric emergency services if you are experiencing an immediate threat to your own or your loved one’s safety or wellbeing.  Additionally, here are some 24-hour helplines for specific issues:​

  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255

  • Crisis Text Line: text HOME to 741741

  • National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233 

  • National Sexual Assault Hotline 1-800-656-4673



Do mental health problems, like depression and anxiety, come from deficiency of religious, spiritual and faith practices?

Mental health problems are a normal part of life which cut across diverse religious affiliation and spiritual devotionality.  While religious/spiritual identity, community, and activities provide strong protective factors for one’s mental health, we cannot claim that religious devotion would prevent or cure mental health problems.  Blame, shame, and guilt around mental health problems among Muslims and other religious/spiritual communities worldwide are a product of social stigmatization rather than sound religious/spiritual information.  


Are mental health services confidential in Michigan?

Client confidentiality is and will continue to remain a top priority. Identifiable health information from confidential counseling records will not be shared without a written consent. By law, there are limited exceptions to this rule in cases of minors, health or safety emergencies and court subpoenas. Mental health providers are mandated to report specific information when there is the possibility of harm to a client or another person, in cases of abuse of a child, elder or disabled person, or under court order.

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