Religiously Integrated Psychotherapy With Muslim Clients: From Research to Practice

Hisham Abu Raiya*, Kenneth I. Pargament

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this paper, we attempt to translate empirical findings from a program of research that developed a Psychological Measure of Islamic Religiousness (PMIR) into practical clinical applications. The findings from this program of research are complemented and illuminated by findings from other empirical research and clinical work with Muslims. Our recommendations can be summarized as follows. First, clinicians should inquire directly about the place of religion in the lives of their Muslim clients. Second, mental health professionals should ask about what Islam means to their clients and educate themselves about basic Islamic beliefs and practices. Third, clinicians should help their Muslim clients draw on Islamic positive religious coping methods to deal with stressors. Fourth, we recommend that clinicians assess for religious struggles, normalize them, help clients find satisfying solutions to these struggles and, if appropriate, refer clients who struggle to a Muslim pastoral counselor or religious leader. Finally, in order to overcome stigma associated with mental health issues, mental health professionals should educate the Islamic public about psychology, psychopathology, and psychotherapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)181-188
Number of pages8
JournalProfessional Psychology: Research and Practice
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Muslims
  • empirical research
  • mental health
  • positive religious coping
  • religious struggle
  • religiously integrated psychotherapy
  • stigma


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