Question

I’d like to start therapy or CBT, but don’t know if my religious needs would be catered for via mainstream therapists. I’m reluctant to go to local mosque therapy services due to previous experiences, and their unwillingness to talk about things besides religion, and even then how they bring religion into mental health I don’t always agree with. I also don’t know how I’m going to afford it should I find a private therapist who hits the above since I am in univeristy and my parents don’t approve of therapy or medication for mental illnesses so I can’t ask them for financial support. Any advice on whereabouts should I be looking or what I should be looking for? Jazak’Allah khair.

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Response

Assalaamu ‘alaikum – peace be with you,

Thank you for the question.

First off, it’s important for you to know that your feelings are valued and we are proud of you for taking the time to contact us looking for support for yourself.

Taking care of your mental health is so important for our overall well being. Understandably you have had some experiences that have not suited your needs. As a young Muslim living in this society it can be difficult to find the right type of support from organisations that fit your religious needs.

Firstly, there is nothing to lose when you go through the NHS looking for mental health support, reading your email I can see that you are interested in CBT therapies. Contacting your GP and informing them about this will allow for referrals to take place. Usually contacting mental health organisations, through the NHS or by yourself, will take a few months, but the results are generally very positive.

Moreover, you mentioned wanting to speak to someone who you feel will allow for religious topics and influences to support you. With a lot of mental health organisations clients are given the opportunity to have a criterion for their support worker, giving you the opportunity to choose gender, age range and religious background.

If you start therapy with someone and it doesn’t feel like a right fit you are within your rights to choose someone else. Mental health organisations understand that clients will have needs and they will prioritise those needs, especially when looking for CBT based therapies.

Reading your message, it is clear that you haven’t had many good experiences with your local mosque and mental health questions. Sometimes it can be the case that there is not much conversation in these settings due to taboos in communities. Luckily, the internet can provide Islamic therapy options where clients can have Islam and religious related conversations; whether that be questions related to faith or just wanting to have confronting conversations with Islamic influences. We at Inspirited Minds provide support through our counselling and listening services and we do take Islam into account for our clients.

Another thing you should take into consideration is that most universities have mental health support systems, this can be really helpful if you find it difficult to travel to outside places for support and you don’t wish to have your family know about your choices. It’s important to know that when you apply for mental health support, the NHS for example may send letters and such to your address whereas support systems at universities will generally only email you.

I hope this has provided some helpful support and given you some information on how to proceed when looking for support.

Insha’Allah you will find the right support you’re looking for and it will help you along in life.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you need any further support.
Allah knows best and Insha’Allah we hope this helps,
Duas always,
IM Support Team

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Ask Inspirited Minds is a safe, anonymous and confidential space for you to ask specific questions or seek advice around your mental health and wellbeing. We will publish your question and our response on our website but will make sure to make it anonymous and change any identifiable details. If you are going through these problems, then it’s highly likely someone else is going through something similar and we hope our advice can also be of help to others in a similar situation.

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One Comment

  • Mobeen says:

    Most universities also have chaplains and potentially a Muslim chaplain that may be able to offer support tailored to the individuals needs.

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