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Islamically Integrated Psychotherapy

Uniting Faith and Professional Practice

Edited by Carrie York Al-Karam

With Layla Asamarai Sayyed Mohsen Fatemi Afshana Haque Paul M. Kaplick Hooman Keshavarzi Fahad Khan Farah Lodi Rabia Malik Abdallah Rothman Ibrahim Rüschoff Fyeqa Sheikh

Integrating the Islamic faith with modern psychotherapy is at the forefront of the spiritually integrated psychotherapy movement. To bring this work to wider attention and to promote its continuation, Dr. Carrie York Al-Karam has brought together the present volume of nine essays, each of which is written by a Muslim clinician who practices Islamically integrated psychotherapy (IIP)—a modern approach that unites the teachings, principles, and interventions of the faith with Western therapeutic approaches.

As delineated in the Introduction, IIP has emerged from a variety of domains including the psychology of religion and spirituality, multicultural psychology and counseling, transpersonal psychology, Muslim Mental Health, and Islamic Psychology. The individual chapters then describe a variety of ways IIP is practiced by Muslim clinicians in their service provision with Muslim clients.

The contributors discuss a wide range of topics, such as how Islam can be viewed as a system for psychological wellbeing, or a “science of the soul”; what marital counseling can look like from an Islamically-integrated perspective; Prophet Mohammed as a psycho-spiritual exemplar in a new approach called The HEART Method; the use of Quranic stories in family therapy; as well as using Islamic teachings when working with Muslim children and adolescents.

A description of the various approaches is supplemented with discussions of their theoretical underpinnings as well as research-based recommendations for advancing clinical application. What emerges is a vital resource for Muslim and non-Muslim clinicians alike as well as the lay Muslim reader wanting to know more about how the Islamic faith and psychotherapy are engaging with each other in a modern clinical context.

Acknowledgments / ix

Preface / xiii

Introduction / 3
Carrie York Al-Karam, PhD

Chapter 1: An Islamic Theoretical Orientation to Psychotherapy / 25
Abdallah Rothman, LPC

Chapter 2: Utilization of Islamic Principles in Marital Counseling / 57
Layla Asamarai, PsyD

Chapter 3: The HEART Method: Healthy Emotions Anchored in RasoolAllah’s Teachings: Cognitive Therapy Using Prophet Mohammed as a Psycho-Spiritual Exemplar / 76
Farah Lodi, MA, CCC

Chapter 4: Conducting Spiritually Integrated Family Therapy with Muslim Clients Utilizing a Culturally Responsive Paradigm / 103
Afshana Haque, PhD, LMFT-S

Chapter 5: Integrating Islamic Spirituality into Psychodynamic
Therapy with Muslim Patients / 127
Ibrahim Rüschoff, MD, and Paul M. Kaplick, BSc

Chapter 6: Family Therapy and the Use of Quranic Stories / 152
Rabia Malik, PhD

Chapter 7: Outlining a Case Illustration of Traditional Islamically
Integrated Psychotherapy / 175
Hooman Keshavarzi, LPC, and Fahad Khan, PsyD

Chapter 8
Marrying Islamic Principles with Western Psychotherapy for Children and Adolescents: Successes and Challenges / 208
Fyeqa Sheikh, PsyD

Chapter 9: Integrating Duaa Arafa and Other Shiite Teachings
into Psychotherapy / 229
Sayyed Mohsen Fatemi, PhD

About the Contributors / 243

Index / 251

“Al-Karam has assembled a diverse and talented team to demonstrate how psychology (and psychotherapy in particular) can be approached from a Muslim worldview. This remarkable and nuanced work will serve the field by spurring discussion, promoting understanding, and hopefully igniting research in the area. I heartily encourage it as a starting point for all who want to understand and work effectively with Muslims in therapy.” 

Tim Sisemore, PhD, president of APA’s Society for the Psychology of Religion and Spirituality (Div. 36) and author of The Psychology of Religion and Spirituality: From the Inside Out (Wiley)

“This edited volume makes a profound contribution to the existing literature on psychotherapy broadly, and amplifies the voices of Muslim practitioners. Among the most salient features are the diverse treatment modalities featured, the weaving of conceptual and practical content, and the range of audiences that can benefit from the book!”

Altaf Husain, MSSA, PhD, associate professor, Howard University School of Social Work and vice president, Yaqeen Institute for Islamic Research

“The book is a testimony to the profound multifaceted contributions of a new generation of Muslim psychologists. Just by reading the titles of the chapters and the names of the authors, any psychologist practicing in the Muslim world would find it necessary to have it as a reference for helping him or her with the unique problems of Muslim clients.”

Malik Badri, professor of Psychology, Istanbul Zaim University

“This is a timely book to guide practitioners worldwide in developing and using Islamic paradigms and principles in their work. The need to share their insights is paramount in taking this field further to the Muslim community and to the mainstream globally.”

Nasima Khanom, Consultant Specialist Systemic/Family Psychotherapist and founding chair of the Islamic Psychology Professional Association (IPPAN

“A timely, bold and much-needed work offering insights into working with Muslim clients all over the world.”

Amber Haque, PhD, professor of Clinical Psychology, United Arab Emirates University

“This book is a landmark in the epiphany of Islamic Psychology in the West: a ‘must read’ for all those with an interest in the field.”

Rasjid Skinner, consultant clinical psychologist and visiting professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Karachi

“Carrie York Al-Karam has edited a must-read primer for any counselor or therapist working with Muslim patients and couples. After reading this book, you will have learned from some of the best researchers in the field.”

Rukhsana M. Chaudhry PsyD, director of Mental Health Programming, American Muslim Health Professionals

“This is a remarkable and skillfully written book. All the chapters give us the opportunity to explore and better understand psychology through the Islamic lens. I applaud this initiative, and highly recommend this book to be a source of reference for all in the field of psychology.”

Joanne Hands, PhD, LPC, LMFT, president, Middle East Psychological Association

“How truly fortunate we are to have this fascinating overview and useful introduction to the important field of global Islamic psychotherapy.”

Virginia Gray Henry, director of Fons Vitae and codirector of the Ghazali Children’s Project

“This book is a most welcome and vital addition to the re-emerging and rapidly growing field of Islamic Psychology and Psychotherapy. It is an essential read for all Muslim counsellors, psychotherapists, psychologists and psychiatrists from all modalities, and contains valuable insights for any clinician working with Muslim clients.”

Myira Khan, founder of the Muslim Counsellor and Psychotherapist Network (MCAPN), BACP accredited counsellor and supervisor, BACP Board of Governors Trustee

Journal of Religion and Health

Islamically Integrated Psychotherapy seeks to bridge the gap between Islamic spirituality and psychotherapy by pulling together the work of nine practicing Muslim clinicians who are synthesizing Islam with Western therapeutic approaches. . . . [T]he Islamic tradition urges people to seek healing, and this book gives us vivid descriptions of therapeutic techniques based on Islamic principles. Some outcomes are more favorable than others, but in the cases recorded in this book, the introduction of Islamic spirituality helped clients engage more fully in therapeutic processes. This makes Islamically Integrated Psychotherapy a resource for any reader who wants to explore how Islam and psychotherapy are enriching each other in clinical settings.”

Robert Carle

Wisconsin Muslim Journal

“This book is a must read for all Muslim clinicians as well as everyday Muslims and anyone interested in spiritually integrated psychotherapy.”

Journal of Spiritual Psychology and Counseling

“This volume will be welcomed and is valuable for Muslims and Muslim clinicians along with general mental health professionals who are interested in spiritually integrated psychotherapy as it applies to the Islamic tradition.”