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“Seeking Help is Difficult:” Considerations for Providing Mental Health Services to Muslim Women Clients

Fatima Saleem, Stephanie L. Martin


Mental health professionals who counsel Muslim women are well positioned to offer guidance on working with this underserved population. A basic interpretive qualitative research design was utilized to explore mental health professionals’ (N = 5) experience of providing counselling services to Muslim women. Analysis yielded four areas of consideration in the provision of counselling services to Muslim women: (a) difficulty of seeking help; (b) lack of awareness as a barrier; (c) need for community outreach, psychoeducation, and cross-cultural training; and (d) centrality of trust and careful application of modalities and orientations. Findings are described alongside implications for counselling practice, and directions for future research are identified.


Muslim women; counselling; psychotherapy; mental health services; cultural responsiveness

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