1st Edition

Counseling Muslims Handbook of Mental Health Issues and Interventions

Edited By Sameera Ahmed, Mona M. Amer Copyright 2012

    A young female client presents with anorexia nervosa and believes that her problem has its roots in magic; parents are helpless in the face of their son's substance abuse issues; an interracial couple cannot agree on how to discipline their children.
    How would you effectively help these clients while balancing appropriate interventions that are sensitive to religious, cultural, social, and gender differences? This handbook answers these difficult questions and helps behavioral health practitioners provide religio-culturally-competent care to Muslim clients living in territories such as North America, Australia, and Europe.
    The issues and interventions discussed in this book, by authoritative contributors, are diverse and multifaceted. Topics that have been ignored in previous literature are introduced, such as sex therapy, substance abuse counseling, university counseling, and community-based prevention. Chapters integrate tables, lists, and suggested phrasing for practitioners, along with case studies that are used by the authors to help illustrate concepts and potential interventions.
    Counseling Muslims is also unique in its broad scope, which reflects interventions ranging from the individual to community levels, and includes chapters that discuss persons born in the West, converts to Islam, and those from smaller ethnic minorities. It is the only guide practitioners need for information on effective service delivery for Muslims, who already bypass significant cultural stigma and shame to access mental health services.

    Part I: Muslim Beliefs within a Counseling Framework. Haque, Kamil, Islam, Muslims, and Mental Health. Utz, Conceptualizations of Mental Health, Illness, and Healing. Ali, Aboul-Fotouh, Traditional Mental Health Coping and Help-seeking. Part II: Models and Interventions. Rahiem, Hamid, Mental Health Interview and Cultural Formulation. Mahmood, Ahmed, Psychological Testing and Assessment. Amer, Jalal, Individual Psychotherapy/Counseling: Psychodynamic, Cognitive-Behavioral, and Humanistic-experiential Models. Daneshpour, Family Systems Therapy and Postmodern Approaches. Dharamsi, Maynard, Islamic-based Interventions. Ansary, Salloum, Community-based Prevention and Intervention. Part III: Service Settings. Mohiuddin, Maroof, Inpatient Psychiatric Units. Nadir, El-Amin, Home-based Social Services. Humeidan, University Counseling Centers. Part IV: Special Populations. Ahmed, Converts to Islam. Ahmed, Adolescents and Emerging Adults. Ahmed, Aboul-Fotouh, Refugees. Part V: Special Issues. Abugideiri, Domestic Violence. Killawi, Sexuality and Sexual Dysfunctions. Ali, Substance Abuse.


    Sameera Ahmed, Ph.D. is the Director of the Family & Youth Institute (FYI), Canton, Michigan, as well as Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan. In addition, she is a fellow at the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding (ISPU), an associate editor for the Journal of Muslim Mental Health, and has a private clinical practice. Dr. Ahmed has a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University, New Jersey and a M.S. in Biology from Bowling Green State University, Ohio. Her areas of interest include: risk behaviors and protective factors of Muslim adolescents and emerging adults; skills based parenting and marital interventions to strengthen families; and promoting culturally and religiously meaningful psychotherapy. She has presented her research in sessions and workshops across U.S. and Canada in both academic and community settings and has published numerous journal articles. In addition to her scholarly efforts, Dr. Ahmed has been involved in the Muslim community at both the local and national levels over the past 20 years and is intimately familiar with the heterogeneity and issues impacting Muslims in North America. 

    Mona M. Amer, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at the American University in Cairo, Egypt, where she was awarded the university’s Excellence in Teaching Award. Dr. Amer has gained widespread recognition for developing cultural competence training curriculums for social service providers working with Muslims and Arabs, which she has presented in cities in the U.S. and U.K. For this work she was awarded the American Psychological Association’s (APA) Award for Distinguished Graduate Student in Professional Psychology. She was the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Muslim Mental Health and has consulted to local, state, and federal agencies regarding Arab American and American Muslim mental health post 9/11. Dr. Amer completed a PhD in clinical psychology at the University of Toledo, Ohio and a postdoctoral fellowship specializing in racial/ethnic disparities in behavioral health at Yale University’s Department of Psychiatry, New Haven, Connecticut. She was the sole recipient of APA’s 2005-7 minority postdoctoral fellowship in mental health and substance abuse services. In addition to teaching and research, she works as a psychotherapist at a private practice.

    "This detailed and in-depth volume will be of interest to a wide range of practitioners working in psychiatry, counselling and social work alongside those engaged in mental health research and in religious studies departments. Ahmed and Amer’s work presents a unique contribution in its wide-ranging scope, discussing working with a wide variety of different Muslim subgroups, highlighting that ‘‘there is no formulaic approach to working with ‘the Muslim client." –Rosealind Warden, Cardiff University, Mental Health, Religion & Culture

    "This outstanding text is very timely. All of us in the mental health field need to learn more about counseling Muslims. The editors and authors of Counseling Muslims: Handbook of Mental Health Issues and Interventions have provided an extremely valuable text for all social workers, psychologists, and counselors in the 21st century. The book offers a thoughtful, well-written, and practical foundation for understanding Muslims, who constitute 23% of the world's population and an expanding portion of the U.S. population, although they are widely misunderstood. The book fills a major gap in our clinical knowledge and we should be grateful to the editor and authors for this rich and well-formulated challenge to much of the accepted wisdom about mental health, illness, and healing from the perspective of understanding Muslim clients." - Monica McGoldrick, PhD, LCSW, Director, Multicultural Family Institute; Adjunct Associate Professor, Clinical Psychiatry, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey

    "Counseling Muslims is a valuable and outstanding contribution to the counseling literature on a timely topic. For a variety of reasons, Muslims in the United States and elsewhere have become an important ethnocultural and religious group that counselors and psychotherapists need to understand. The editors have assembled an outstanding group of scholars to provide a wonderful blend of scientific and clinically-relevant information in a handbook format. It is an amazing resource and should become required reading in the field." - Frederick Leong, PhD, Director, Consortium for Multicultural Psychology Research, Michigan State University, USA

    "During this post-9/11 period in which the Islamophobia and the fear of terrorism pervade our society, there is a real need to understand Muslims, who represent 23% of the world's population. This book on counseling Muslims is an exceptional contribution that helps to provide this understanding. Mental health students and professionals, as well as the general public, will find it amazingly insightful, informative, engaging, and challenging." - Stanley Sue, PhD, Professor and Director, Center for Excellence in Diversity, Palo Alto University, California, USA

    "This is an innovative collection of writings from authors who are well versed in the field either as scholars or practitioners. Each chapter provides a depth of understanding into clinically useful ways of understanding mental health practice with Muslim patients; and the book provides most helpful guidance to practitioners, students, and scholars alike. I find it user friendly, accessible, and practical." - John R. Graham, PhD, RSW, Murray Fraser Professor, University of Calgary, Canada

    "The need to address religion and spirituality in organizing and providing mental health services is becoming increasingly evident in most western countries. But there are few books that provide practical help for practitioners. This book provides mental health practitioners with a comprehensive text written specifically to help improve their services for Muslims whether through counseling and psychotherapy or more medically oriented psychiatric treatment. It covers a wide range of topics, abundantly illustrated with case studies and often includes direct practical advice. I think this book should be essential reading for mental health practitioners who deal with Muslim clients, but it could also interest educators and people involved in training mental health workers." - Suman Fernando, Psychiatrist, Visiting Professor, London Metropolitan University, UK

    "This text teaches practitioners what words to use, techniques to implement, and how to judge the success of interventions with Muslim clients. It is a practical, useful source of information that represents an important contribution to the psychotherapy field." - Harold G. Koenig, MD, Professor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences; Director, Center for Theology and Health, Duke University Medical Center, USA

    "Counseling Muslims offers valuable, groundbreaking contributions in the areas of counseling, multicultural psychology, and the psychology of spirituality and religion. This handbook succeeds in helping us better know each other, increasing readers' knowledge about counseling Muslims through professional writing that blends theory, research, and practice...this innovative handbook is long overdue and makes great strides forward in the field." - Karen Jennifer Golden, PsycCRITIQUES

    "This book is a welcome gift to all researchers and practitioners in the various disciplines and fields concerned with health care." Daniel S. Schipani, Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary, Elkhart, IN, USA