Khalil Center is a psychological and spiritual community wellness center advancing the professional practice of psychology rooted in Islamic principles. An initiative designed to address the widespread prevalence of social, psychological, familial, relational and spiritual issues of Muslim communities.

Khalil Center’s approach emphasizes: psychological reconstruction, behavioral reformation, and spiritual elevation. Khalil Center utilizes faith-based approaches rooted in Islamic theological concepts while integrating the science of psychology towards addressing psychological, spiritual and communal health.

The six-part Khalil Center Education Series is presented in partnership by the Counseling Psychology Department at The Chicago School, the Khalil Center, and IBN Haldun University. Courses can be taken individually, or purchased altogether for a discounted price.

To learn more about the Khalil Center, click here.

Purchase the full, six-part Khalil Center Education Series:

Full Program Access (all six sessions)

Series includes:

  • Session 1: Understanding the Mental Health Needs of Muslims & Emerging Islamically Integrated Psychotherapies
  • Session 2: A Glimpse into the Living Islamic Tradition: Reading Abū Zayd al-Balkhī and Imām al-Ghazalī in light of Modern Psychology
  • Session 3: Introducing Traditional Islamically Integrated Psychotherapy (TIIP): Foundations of an Islamic Orientation to Psychotherapy
  • Session 4: Traditional Islamically Integrated (TIIP) Treatment of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Scrupulosity (Waswasa) in Muslim Patients
  • Session 5: The Role of Dreams in lslamically Integrated Mental Health Practice
  • Session 6: The Intersection of Islamic Jurisprudence and Mental Health: A Collaborative Care Model for Islamic Clergy and Mental Health Professionals 

Price: 90.00 USD

Purchase individual sessions in the Khalil Center Education Series:

KC 1: Understanding the Mental Health Needs of Muslims & Emerging Islamically Integrated Psychotherapies

This particular workshop will provide mental health professionals and students of the behavioral sciences an opportunity to better understand the Mental health needs of Muslim populations. The particular cultural and religious factors that may impact this group as a special population will be explored with an attention to the prevalence of mental health conditions, help seeking behaviors, barriers for service delivery and responsiveness to various therapeutic modalities. Given that Muslims tend to be more reluctant in seeking mental health treatment for their psychological distress relative to other groups (Sheikh & Furnham, 2000; Pilkington, Msetfi, & Watson, 2012), solutions will be provided to address the religious, spiritual, and faith based cultural sensitivities that serve as barriers for service delivery (Inayat, 2007; Aloud & Rathur, 2009).

Additionally, many religiously adherent Muslims not only need culturally sensitive psychotherapy, they are also likely to want their therapist to demonstrate spiritual competencies and provide spirituality integrated care (Weatherhead & Diaches, 2010). In light of this and the growing research and interest in spiritually integrated psychotherapies (Richards & Bergin, 2004; Pargament, 2007), emerging Islamic psychologies will be discussed in detail. There will be a brief overview of the rich historical scholarly tradition on human psychology within the Islamic tradition. Then an orientation to the broader contemporary movement of Islamic psychology with a focus on providing an overview of the various Islamic models of psychological well-being and treatment will be presented.

KC 2: A Glimpse into the Living Islamic Tradition: Reading Abū Zayd al-Balkhī and Imām al-Ghazalī in light of Modern Psychology

This presentation will provide attendees with an exposure to the richness of the Islamic intellectual heritage as it pertains to human psychology, pathology and its treatment. The Islamic intellectual heritage is a long-standing living tradition whose scholarly works have been underexplored within contemporary psychology. The scholarly works, and in some cases scholarly exchanges between Muslim scholars contributed to the diversity of Islamic intellectual discourse in addressing the physical, metaphysical and rational branches of knowledge. These conversations demonstrated the intersection between theology, law, philosophy, medicine and spirituality contributing to the abundance of literature related to human cognition, behavior, emotions and spirituality despite the absence of a distinct field of psychology.

With a growing modern interest in Eastern philosophies and medicine, the Islamic tradition in this presentation is presented as an illustration of diverse perspectives that can enhance the field of modern psychology. A reading of two very notable Islamic scholars’ contributions to human psychology, ontology of the human psyche and its treatment by drawing directly from their treatises will be discussed.

KC 3: Introducing Traditional Islamically Integrated Psychotherapy (TIIP): Foundations of an Islamic Orientation to Psychotherapy

This presentation provides an overview of Traditional Islamically Integrated Psychotherapy (TIIP) which is a therapeutic framework that is an ever-evolving modality of psychological treatment originally published by Keshavarzi, H & Haque, A in 2013. Since then, there has been further research directed at developing this framework. TIIP is the culmination of research on psychological treatment conducted by interdisciplinary teams consisting of dually trained professionals and Islamic scholars. The TIIP model offers a framework for integrating contemporary behavioral science into an inherently Islamic framework. The foundations of this model are rooted in an Islamic epistemological and ontological framework.

The practice applications of this model are of two types of interventional techniques: 1) inherently Islamic approaches of psychotherapy inspired by the Qur’an, Prophetic Tradition and the traditions of the scholars particularly of the spiritual sciences such as contemplation, supplications etc. and 2) adaptation and integration of established mainstream interventions that are consistent with the foundations and principles of Traditional Islamically Integrated Psychotherapy (TIIP). This approach is not a strictly regimented or manualized therapeutic modality but rather provides general theoretical directions and insights on integrating the Islamic spiritual tradition into psychotherapeutic practice. It provides a framework that allows for an integration that is rooted in the Islamic tradition and is growing model of care that is continuously developing through ongoing interdisciplinary research.

In this presentation, the foundations of TIIP will be provided outlining its assumptions about health/pathology, human drives, elements of the human psyche, the principles and mechanisms of psychological change. Specific case applications will be provided as an illustration of its clinical applicability.

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

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.

KC 5: The Role of Dreams in lslamically Integrated Mental Health Practice

While modern psychology considers dreams to be the royal road inwards into one’s preoccupations, intrapsychic conflicts, and the unconscious, Islamic scholars have additionally viewed dreams to be a royal road outward into the realm of spiritual inspiration and prophecy. Despite a significant amount of attention afforded to dreams in earlier psychological literature, dreams have become an endangered species in the mainstream practice of psychiatry and clinical psychology.

In an attempt to address this gap in clinical practice, the presenter will start by providing an overview of the different theories on the role of dreams on human psychology, including psychodynamic, neurobiological, evolutionary theories among others. Presenters will then provide a foundational account of the study of dreams in Islamic literature and intellectual heritage. They will also shed light on the profound tradition of dream interpretation (‘ ilm al-ta’bir) established by Muslim scholars. Following this theoretical foundation, the presenter will discuss clinical applications of dreamwork within an Islamically integrated model of psychotherapy. The clinical tools provided for clinicians in this presentation include a toolkit for dream interpretation, utilization of “healing dreams” in practice, navigating through nightmares, understanding the connection between dreams and supplications, providing psychoeducation about dreams, and understanding the connection between dreams, psychopathology, and psychopharmacology.

KC 6: The Intersection of Islamic Jurisprudence and Mental Health: A Collaborative Care Model for Islamic Clergy and Mental Health Professionals

Mental competency in Islam is an essential precondition for the validity of ritual worship, including ritual prayer, charity, and pilgrimage, and additionally plays an important role in a variety of ethical and social relational issues. Therefore, Islamic jurisprudence encompasses not only the permissions, limitations, and sanctions of the state, society, and civil conduct of the members of that society, but even the personal religious conduct of its adherents. Given that the global Muslim community turns to Islamic jurisprudence for ethical guidance on informing daily decisions, lifestyle choices, personal and interpersonal conduct, the implications of mental status can have wide reaching implications. Thus, the scope for Islamic forensic psychological practice can extend beyond the court or even hospital, and more commonly include issues regarding personal religious duties brought to community clergy or unofficial legal authorities (muftīs). Such enquiries commonly include questions about ritual purification and bathing, disability accommodations (rukhaṣ) in ritual prayer or for the month-long fast in Ramadan, the obligation to perform the pilgrimage (ḥajj), marriage status when a spouse is mentally incapacitated, and ethical grounds for seeking a divorce when dealing with a mentally ill partner, permissibility of abortion, permissibility of medications among others. In order to ensure sensitive care to patients, it is crucial for mental health practitioners to work with religious clergy who are well-grounded in Islamic law and preferably possess a working knowledge of the behavioral sciences to address the case specific consequences of mental illness upon the religious life of patients.

Establishing a collaborative care framework with religious clergy and mental health practitioners is critical to providing services that can supply disability accommodations when justified and avoiding ill-informed or insensitive recommendations (Keshavarzi & Ali, 2020). This presentation will walk through an interdisciplinary framework to help provide a common language and delineate the scopes of practice between clergy and mental health professionals in addressing psychological issues that are implicated by Islamic jurisprudence. There will be references to specific case illustrations as examples of how to effectively address the common ethical dilemmas or patient concerns surrounding the implications of their mental status upon personal religious practice. A survey of some of the most common mental health conditions and the types of disability accommodations made available to Muslims with mental illness will be provided.