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



This is the first session in the 6-session Khalil Center Educational Series.

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.

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