We take a collaborative, women-friendly approach to counseling, which means that we believe you are the expert on your own life. Your therapist will work with you to identify what you want to accomplish.
Affordable women-friendly counseling is in high demand and short supply.
Personal counseling is sometimes known as “talk therapy.” The purpose of personal counseling is to guide you through the process of self-discovery and change.
Personal counseling offers you the opportunity to:
- share your feelings and thoughts
- see things from a different perspective
- engage in active problem-solving
- manage your symptoms/adaptations
- practice self-care strategies
- get support during a crisis or transition
- clear up long-standing issues, and
- connect with Women’s Center and community resources
You will meet weekly with your therapist in one of our 10 comfortable counseling rooms. Sessions are 50 minutes long — with the exception of the first, which is 90 minutes to allow for extra paperwork.
- Online: Complete an online counseling form. Office personnel will verify your insurance and follow up with you via your preferred method.
- Phone: Choose a private and undistracted space to call 734.973.6779. Complete a 15 to 20-minute interview with a therapist that gives us some sense of what you are interested in. (This counselor is not necessarily the therapist you will end up working with.)
In each case, answer only the questions you are comfortable with.
The counselor will ask:
- how to contact you in the future;
- about race, education, income, family composition so that we know who we serve;
- what you want to work on in therapy;
- what kind of health insurance coverage you have, if any
- what medications, if any, you’re taking;
- whether you are feeling suicidal; and
- what strategies you have to take care of yourself in the meantime.
The interval between telephone interview and first appointment can be as short as a few days or as long as a few weeks, depending on therapist availability.
Assuming there’s something in your life that you want to change, we’re here to support you in that process. The issues that participants bring to our personal counseling program are as diverse as the individuals themselves:
- depression and anxiety
- identity questions
- gender issues
- life transitions
- grief and loss
- parenting issues
- physical/sexual trauma
- eating and food issues
- self-injury and compulsive behaviors
- multiple responsibilities; limited resources
- chronic illness/disability
Topics vary, but in every case our focus is the same: to provide a safe and supportive space in which you can achieve the goals that you set for yourself.
You have 2 options:
- Soundings: sliding-fee based on income
- Room To Talk: public or commercial insurance
1. Soundings sliding-fee counseling. Each 50-minute session is based on a sliding-scale fee, according to your household income.
Many women don’t have enough income or health insurance to cover personal counseling. We want to change that. Our goal is to make therapy accessible for everyone. Women’s Center’s suggested fees range from $85 down to $20 (or less). Together we will come up with an amount that you can manage from week to week.
Soundings sliding-fee therapy is for individuals who have reached the end of authorized sessions; have not met their deductible; cannot afford their co-pay; are between insurances; or are looking for that extra layer of confidentiality that being off the insurance grid allows.
2. Room To Talk insurance-based therapy. Our Room to Talk multi-specialty practice, which shares The Women’s Center’s space and philosophy, accepts a variety of health insurances.
Rates for counseling in our area range from $110/session for a master’s-level counselor or social worker to $250 per session for a psychiatrist (a medical doctor with additional training in pharmacology and mental health).
Your insurance covers part of this fee, after you have paid a certain amount towards your health care in a calendar year. (The amount you must pay yourself ahead of time is your deductible, typically $1,000 to $5,000 annually.) What your insurance doesn’t cover for each visit is your co-pay — usually $20 to $50 per session. [Note: If you have Medicaid, these out-of-pocket fees are often not required.]
With your permission, we can check your insurance ahead of time and let you know how much each session will cost.
As openings become available, therapists connect with clients on a first-call, first-appointment basis. The first 3 sessions give you the opportunity to determine whether the two of you are a good match.
Room To Talk therapists have master’s or doctoral degrees and a license to practice therapy. Soundings intern- therapists are graduate students in counseling, social work, and psychology.
Counseling practice is part of their education. Similar to the way that medical interns and residents work under the supervision of an attending physician, our intern-therapists are supervised by clinicians with years of experience.
We take seriously our responsibility to provide the best growth experience for clients and interns. Soundings clients benefit from a fresh perspective and low therapist caseloads. Interns benefit from regular consultations with supervisors who have years of practical and teaching experience.
Our therapists can be as young as 22 or as old as 65. Some are still in school and will be for several months. Others have already graduated. It is important for you to know how long your particular therapist will be available. If you do not finish what you want to work on, you may complete another phone interview and being work with another therapist.
The number of sessions depends on what you want to accomplish, your insurance (if you have any), and the length of time your counselor is available. This can be anywhere from a few weeks to several months from the time you begin working together.
Consistent with research on what works in therapy, we believe that the client-therapist relationship is key.
Our therapists draw upon a number of different perspectives, including:
- feminist and multicultural therapy
- motivational interviewing,
- mindfulness-based cognitive therapy,
- sensorimotor and internal family systems,
- short-term solution-focused therapy, and others.
Your therapist will make every attempt to match your preferred style. No matter what approach you prefer, trust and safety come first.
Good therapy or counseling (different words for the same process) respects each individual’s values. Qualified therapists do not impose their standards or priorities on their clients. Your beliefs remain your own and you remain you.
We consider women in context of their:
- economic circumstances,
- physical health,
- relationships with family, friends, and significant others,
- citizenship status,
- religion or spirituality,
- sexual orientation,
- gender, and
Most people acknowledge that mental health depends on a number of factors, including hormones, temperament, genetics, how we were raised, and what’s going on around us. Not all mental health symptoms are evidence of “illness,” in our opinion, but may represent reasonable adaptations to unreasonable situations.
Therapy is NOT for changing your basic self, but for sorting out the things that could work and feel better. In the best-case scenario, you begin to find the answers inside yourself, with the help of a guide — your therapist.
Your confidentiality is very important to us. We do not give out client names to anyone without your signed permission. We can arrange to use only cell phones; your private email; see you at an optimal time of day; set up an unobtrusive payment method; or arrange for private payments — that is, no insurance involvement.
If you are concerned about personal safety (are being stalked or are in a coercive relationship), we will work with you on a safety plan. Please be aware that email and texts are not secure, and may be monitored by anyone with access to your technology.
Our counseling programs work best if you:
- appreciate a collaborative, whole-person approach;
- can commit to regular attendance;
- can be flexible about your start-of-services date; and
- do not require intensive medication monitoring.
If our counseling program does not meet your needs, we can work together to:
- figure out the best fit for you and your situation.
- identify additional places to go for help.
- problem-solve with you about what to do in the meantime.
If you need immediate help, call 911 or Psychiatric Emergency Services, or go to your local emergency room. Community Mental Health’s crisis services are also an option for lower-income folks in Washtenaw County.
Washtenaw County does not have a conversational helpline for adults. However, you may call other crisis lines in the Southeastern Michigan area. We encourage you to also check out additional behavioral health care providers.
Popular alternatives include university-based clinics, patient-centered medical homes, community mental health, and mental health professionals that offer reduced fees to qualified individuals.