Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice

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Volume 83 Issue 1 (March 2010), Pages 1-109

Muslim views on mental health and psychotherapy (pages 75-89)

Objectives. The aim of this research was to explore with a heterogeneous Muslim population their understanding of the concept of mental health and how any mental distress experienced by an individual can best be addressed.

Design. A qualitative approach was taken. Participants were interviewed, and data analysed thematically.

Methods. A sample of 14 Muslims was interviewed according to a semi‐structured interview schedule. Participants were recruited via electronic mailing lists, and communications with local Muslim organizations. Interviews were transcribed verbatim, and data were analysed using thematic analysis.

Results. Thematic analysis identified seven operationalizing themes that were given the labels ‘causes’, ‘problem management’, ‘relevance of services’, ‘barriers’, ‘service delivery’, ‘therapy content’, and ‘therapist characteristics’.

Conclusions. The results highlight the interweaving of religious and secular perspectives on mental distress and responses to it. Potential barriers are discussed, as are the important characteristics of therapy, therapists, and service provision. Clinical implications are presented along with the limitations of this study and suggestions for future research.

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