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Effective Mental Health Interventions for Muslim Individuals, Families, and Communities

CE Credit: 1

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Length: 50 minutes

Session offered by Division 17.

The past decade has seen a burgeoning interest in culturally-relevant mental health services for Muslim clients, as evidenced by a proliferation of conference presentations, journal articles, training videos, and books on this topic. Most of these resources have focused on providing an orientation to the Islamic faith and examining the socio-cultural contexts of Muslim communities that are relevant to mental health symptoms and treatment. Furthermore, most have focused on adults whereas youth and systemic interventions have gained less attention. This symposium marks a departure from the existing discourse by presenting specific, practical suggestions for mental health professionals working with Muslim youth, adults, families, and communities.

The symposium begins with an examination of the applicability of traditional individual modalities including psychodynamic, cognitive-behavioral, and humanistic. This is followed by a review of family systems and postmodern approaches for Muslim immigrant families. There are numerous religion-cultural considerations for understanding and intervening in cases of family domestic violence, which is addressed in the third presentation. The fourth presentation discusses the development of Muslim youth within the framework of the ecological model, along with recommended counseling interventions. Further drawing on the ecological model is the final presentation, which focuses on strategies for effective community outreach aimed at preventing psychological distress and promoting healthy communities.

Presentations in this symposium blend analyses of theoretical models with specific, practical examples for intervention. It is important to remember, however, that the Muslim minority is quite diverse and therefore interventions should be tailored to meet the unique needs of clients. The presenters in this symposium represent chapter authors for an edited handbook on counseling Muslims that is in press by Routledge. Many of the concepts and ideas raised are based on unique and novel contributions of the authors that have not been addressed in previous literature.

Learning Objective 1
Discuss the applicability of Western mental health intervention theories to the Islamic and Muslim worldviews.

Learning Objective 2
Identify specific mental health intervention strategies that are effective when serving Muslim individuals, families, and/or communities.

Presenters: Mona M. Amer, PhD (Chair and Participant); Manijeh Daneshpour, PhD; Salma Abugideiri, Med; Sameera Ahmed, PhD; Nadia S. Ansary, PhD


Supplementary Materials

  • Counseling Muslims APA 2011 Final for CE sessions
  • Handout Counseling Muslims APA 2011 FINAL