You are currently viewing KCS Session 4: Traditional Islamically Integrated (TIIP) Treatment of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Scrupulosity (Waswasa) in Muslim Patients

KCS Session 4: Traditional Islamically Integrated (TIIP) Treatment of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Scrupulosity (Waswasa) in Muslim Patients

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This is the fourth session in the 6-session Khalil Center Educational Series

Presented by Hooman Keshavarzi and Fahad Khan

Event held online via zoom. Link to access zoom will be sent 24 hours prior to event.

This program, when attended in its entirety, offers 1.5 APA CEs for Psychologists and other professionals, and 1.5 BBS California CEUs for LPCCs, LPSWs, and LMFTs

Workshop Description

The expressions of the symptoms of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder vary according to the socio- psychological context of patients. In religiously observant populations, OCD symptoms can interact with religious beliefs and practices, known as OCD scrupulosity. The literature is replete with discussions of OCD scrupulosity for Jews and Christian, but minimal discussions are available on its interaction with Islamic belief in Muslim populations. This presentation details some of the most common manifestations of OCD scrupulosity known as waswasa in Muslim populations and will be thematically presented based upon the attention afforded to its typical expressions in classical Islamic legal manuals. These broader thematic clusters of symptoms can be divided into four sections, (i) ritual purity and prayer, (ii) marriage and divorce, (iii) blasphemy and apostasy, and (iv) intrusive thoughts of sin. Additionally, assessment methods and identification of OCD symptomology as indicators of clinical psychopathology are discussed. Accompanying this, is an overview of the potential religious dispensations afforded to OCD patients in Islamic ritual law as disability accommodations. The role and conceptualization of waswasa according to normative Islamic belief is presented based upon the Qur’an, prophetic traditions and Islamic scholarly writings.

To follow, an Islamically integrated approach to cognitive psychotherapy and exposure response prevention therapy (ERP) is offered, drawing from traditional Islamic faith-based healing. Interventions are rooted in a published model of treatment known as Traditional Islamically Integrated Psychotherapy (TIIP). The model proposes a need to counterbalance the OCD patient’s negative attribution bias and accompanying compulsive behaviors that are indicators of excessive fear with a more self-compassionate cognitive orientation. Interventions include a cognitive restructuring component using cognitive techniques of: challenging the evidence, correction of faulty Islamic beliefs through psychoeducation, acceptance of intrusive thoughts and their inconsequentiality, ‘acting as if’ and Islamic positive cognitive reframing. Exposure response prevention is suggested to accompany cognitive interventions in order to extinguish the associated anxiety with intrusive thoughts that propels behavioral compulsions.

Learning Objectives:

After attending this introductory-level workshop, participants will be able to:

– Demonstrate a stronger understanding of Muslim culture and the Islamic faith and be able to utilize this knowledge to provide more culturally competent psychotherapy.

– Describe the manifestations of OCD scrupulosity in Muslim populations

– Utilize therapeutic interventions or modalities for the treatment of OCD scrupulosity in Muslim populations

– Utilize religious dispensations in order to inform psychological treatment with Muslim patients who have OCD scrupulosity.

– Describe Islamic concepts, culture and Islamic scholarly contributions to human psychology

 Hooman Keshavarzi, Psy.D, Executive Director Khalil Center and Assistant professor at Ibn Haldun University

Hooman Keshavarzi, Psy.D is a licensed as a psychotherapist in the state of Illinois, he holds a Doctorate of Clinical Psychology, a Masters of Clinical Psychology and a Bachelors of Science – specialist psychology track/minor in Islamic Studies. He is currently a visiting scholar for Ibn Haldun University (Istanbul, Turkey), Adjunct Professor at American Islamic College, Hartford Seminary, instructor of psychology at Islamic Online University and founding director of Khalil Center – the first Islamically oriented professional community mental wellness center and largest provider of Muslim mental healthcare in the US. He is also a fellow at the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding at the Global Health Center, conducting research on topics related to Muslims and Mental Health. Hooman Keshavarzi is an international public speaker and trainer currently serving as a Clinical supervisor of graduate students of clinical psychology at the Village of Hoffman Estates (DHS). He also delivers seminars on specialized topics around multiculturalism and psychology.

In addition to his academic training, Hooman Keshavarzi has studied Islamic theology both formally and informally. He is a student of Shaykh Muhammad Zakariya from Toronto, Canada, where he attended his hadith and spiritual discourses for a number of years. After moving to Chicago, he studied informally with Shaykh Azeemuddin Ahmed, later formally enrolling in Darussalam Academy for 4 years. During this time he also did some specialized coursework with Shaykh Amin Kholwadia in Islamic counseling. He then transferred to Darul Qasim where he is continuing his higher Islamic education.

Fahad Khan, Psy.D, Deputy Director & Clinical Psychologist, Khalil Center

Fahad Khan, Psy.D is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist with a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology and a Masters degree in Biomedical Sciences. He is also a Hafiz of the Qur’an (having committed the entire Qur’an to memory) and has studied Islamic studies with various scholars in the Muslim world and the US. He is currently a student at Darul Qasim continuing his Arabic and Islamic studies under the supervision of Sh. Amin Kholwadia. He is a faculty member at Concordia University Chicago and College of DuPage. He has conducted numerous research studies and has published book chapters and articles on Traditional Islamically-Integrated Psychotherapy (TIIP), help-seeking attitudes of Muslim Americans as well as the effects of Acculturation & Religiosity on Psychological Distress. He is a fellow of the International Association of Islamic Psychology and serves as an editor for the Journal of Muslim Mental Health.

Program Standards and Goals  

This program meets APA’s continuing education Standard 1.1: Program content focuses on application of psychological assessment and/or intervention methods that have overall consistent and credible empirical support in the contemporary peer reviewed scientific literature beyond those publications and other types of communications devoted primarily to the promotion of the approach. 

This program meets APA’s continuing education GOAL 2: Program will enable psychologists to keep pace with the most current scientific evidence regarding assessment, prevention, intervention, and/or education, as well as important relevant legal, statutory, leadership, or regulatory issues.  


Arip, A. A. M., Sharip, S., & Nabil, A. N. (2017). Islamic integrated exposure response  therapy for mental pollution subtype of contamination obsessive-compulsive disorder: A case report and literature review. Mental Health, Religion & Culture, 21(2), 210-218.  

Keshavarzi, H. & Haque, A. (2013). Outlining a psychotherapy model for enhancing  Muslim mental health within an Islamic context. International Journal for the Psychology of Religion, 23, 230-249.  

Keshavarzi, H. & Khan. F. (2020). Islamically integrated psychotherapy of obsessive- compulsive disorder scrupulosity in Muslim patients. Religion & Health (in Review).  

Keshavarzi, H., Khan, F., Ali, B. & Awaad, R. (Eds.) (2020). Applying Islamic Principles to  Clinical Mental Health Care: Introducing Traditional Islamically Integrated  Psychotherapy.  New York: Routledge. 

Keshavarzi, H. & Nsour, R. (2020). Behavioral Psychotherapy. In H. Keshavarzi, F.  Khan, Ali. B & R. Awaad. Applying Islamic Principles to Clinical Mental Health Care: Introducing Traditional Islamically Integrated Psychotherapy. New York: Routledge.  


Target Audience: Any mental health or heath care practitioner engaged in therapeutic care and interested in furthering the discussion about evidence-based practice. Graduate students are welcome.  

Psychologists. This program, when attended in its entirety, is available for 1.5 continuing education credits. The Chicago School of Professional Psychology is committed to accessibility and non-discrimination in its continuing education activities. The Chicago School of Professional Psychology is also committed to conducting all activities in conformity with the American Psychological Association’s Ethical Principles for Psychologists. Participants are asked to be aware of the need for privacy and confidentiality throughout the program. If program content becomes stressful, participants are encouraged to process these feelings during discussion periods. If participants have special needs, we will attempt to accommodate them. There is no commercial support for this program nor are there any relationships between the CE Sponsor, presenting organization, presenter, program content, research, grants, or other funding that could reasonably be construed as conflicts of interest.  

MFTs, LPCCs, and LCSWs. Course meets the qualifications for 1.5 hour of continuing education credit for MFTs, LPCCs, and/or LCSWs as required by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences. If you are licensed outside of California please check with your local licensing agency to to determine if they will accept these CEUs. The Chicago School of Professional Psychology is approved by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS) to offer continuing education programming for MFTs, LPCCs, LEPs, and/or LCSWs. The Chicago School of Professional Psychology is an accredited or approved postsecondary institution that meets the requirements set forth in Sections 4980.54(f)(1), 4989.34, 4996.22(d)(1), or 4999.76(d) of the Code.  

Other Non Psychologists. Most licensing boards accept Continuing Education Credits sponsored by the American Psychological Association but non-psychologists are recommended to consult with their specific state-licensing board to ensure that APA-sponsored CE is acceptable.  

Participation Certificate. The Chicago School of Professional Psychology is able to provide students and other participants who simply wish to have documentation of their attendance at the program a participation certificate.  

*Participants must attend 100% of the program in order to obtain a Certificate of Attendance.  

The Chicago School of Professional Psychology is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The Chicago School of Professional Psychology maintains responsibility for this program and its content.