In general, I utilize a faith-based approach, incorporating Islamic principles and therapeutic ones with clients who will benefit from this. Research has found that incorporating spirituality and religion into therapy yields positive results. Seeking a Muslim therapist can help gain a holistic approach to counseling that offers both psychological and spiritual help while taking into account cultural context.
Some of the principal ideas we keep in mind as we navigate the therapeutic process include:
- “Allah doesn’t change the condition of a person until he/she changes what is within themselves.” This verse shows us that change is possible no matter how stuck you feel;
- moving forward typically involves changing how we think and behave in response to past or current events in our lives;
- Allah created each of us with emotions. The feelings you experience are a natural part of life and deserve our attention; and
- We are not held accountable for our thoughts and emotions but we are held accountable for our actions and these are within our control. We can learn skills to be more effective in dealing with uncomfortable emotions and difficult situations.
More specifically, I use a variety of techniques to help my clients meet their goals and I tailor my treatment approach to suit the needs of each client. I also emphasize treatment methods that are supported by the latest research findings. While the specific techniques I use in therapy vary with the needs of our clients, I primarily use a combination of cognitive-behavioral (CBT), interpersonal therapy and solution-focused therapy. These have been summarized below to give you a better idea of what they mean:
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): CBT is an action-oriented, practical process that helps clients to regain control over their lives and the issues they face. It is based on the premise that our thoughts can either positively or negatively impact our feelings and behaviors. It is not necessarily our circumstances that most strongly determines how we think, feel and behave. Rather, the way we interpret what happens to us determines how we feel about ourselves, our lives and the world around us. Every single one of us has biased, unhelpful and inaccurate ways of looking at the world at times. It’s a natural part of being human and how our brains process information. The good news is that it is completely possible to learn to change our ways of thinking that cause us problems and interfere with our lives. The goal is to help you to view your experience in a more accurate and balanced manner. Our work will also include exploring behaviors that are interfering with your attainment of life goals and address these in ways that will contribute to your growth.
- Interpersonal Psychotherapy: Relational psychotherapy focuses on problems in a person’s relationships that are creating distress and negatively impacting their life and psychological wellbeing. Problematic patterns in current and past relationship may be explored to increase awareness of how these interactions have contributed to current issues. Once we are aware of these patterns, we will work to address them by gaining new ways to deal with the people and situations in your life.
- Solution-Focused Therapy: Solution-focused therapy focuses on solution-building rather than problem-solving. It explores current resources and future hopes as well as specific goals to work on in therapy. Through this approach, we focus on taking achievable steps to guide you toward the life that you want to lead- one that is fulfilling and filled with contentment.