People from all cultures, backgrounds, and religious beliefs can suffer under the weight of mental health issues. Traditionally, therapists kept religion out of their office, focusing instead on their client’s mental well-being. But, since spirituality can play such a significant role in a person’s overall health, more and more mental health professionals are now beginning to incorporate the person’s religious and spiritual beliefs into their treatment plan.
For many Christians, Muslims and Jews, God is the central part of understanding themselves and their core values. God is the highest priority and the highest solution to any problems they may face. Instead of finding religion as an antithesis to the discipline of psychology, many therapists are now realizing that religion can and should form a large part of the solutions to underlying mental health issues of their clients.
The Primary Agent of Change in Therapy
Typically, the client is considered to be the primary agent of change in therapy. Muslims believe that human beings are instructed to internally strive (jihad) and make all efforts to beneficial change. However, they also believe that it is the will of God that ultimately decides whether or not that change materializes.
I and other therapists that help Muslim clients always strike the balance of guiding them on their personal journeys toward health and well-being, empowering them to identify behavioral patterns and make necessary changes, all while including God’s divine plan into our treatment plan.
My Commitment to My Muslim Clients
I make the following commitments to all of my Muslim clients:
I Recognize Your Diversity
I recognize the rich diversity in the Muslim-American community.
I Never Avoid Religion
I invite my Muslim clients to engage in religious conversation and to share with me any religious coping methods they currently use, such as praying, reading the Koran, etc.
I Respect Your Personal Journey
As with all my clients, I never take a one-size-fits-all approach to your treatment plan. I respect that your mental health journey is unique to you, your background, culture, and religious influences.
If you or someone you love has been curious about exploring treatment options but was not comfortable with the idea because of your religious beliefs, please reach out to me. I’d be more than happy to discuss how I might help.