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Islamic belief in healing of Trauma; A case study of an Afghan Refugee

Islamic belief in healing of Trauma; A case study of an Afghan Refugee

Islamic beliefs and traditions can provide an essential framework of meaning that help individuals to sustain life in times of great distress. Spiritual healing is an essential element of Islamic faith.

This lecture explores how religious and spiritual beliefs can be used in the healing of trauma.  It draws extensively on a case study of an Afghan refugee, a 58 year-old male client who had experienced the darkest side of humanity through the persecution of his family members and his own torture and trauma experiences.

The client presented at STARTTS with post traumatic stress symptoms, major depression, sever panic attacks, loss and grief and a number of physical and settlement issues. The client is a Sunni Muslim with strong religious beliefs.  Due to the intensity of his trauma, he was unable to conceptualise his experience in terms of his faith and was therefore experiencing difficulties in finding meaning in his life.

In this lecture Nooria Mehraby explores her work with this highly traumatised client combining bio-psycho-social Interventions with the client’s religious and spiritual beliefs in a cognitive behaviour therapeutic framework.

The presenter draws upon 46 therapeutic sessions over a period of three years. The model was sensitive to the clients’ frame of reference, but also applied Western psychological tools, such as cognitive restructuring to the religious values and beliefs of the client. The use of this culturally sensitive model facilitated recovery from the impact of excessive trauma, loss and dislocation.


STARTTS 2009

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