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Islamic Contemporary Alternative Treatments with regards to Mental Health: a cross-cultural qualitative study

Raza, Kanwal (2016) Islamic Contemporary Alternative Treatments with regards to Mental Health: a cross-cultural qualitative study. Manchester Metropolitan University. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

"This qualitative study explored the influence of religious belief on experiences of stress. It focused on Muslim women and asked whether their religious beliefs affected their help-seeking behaviour and experiences of common psychological problems, such as stress. Existing research into the integration of spirituality and religion into psychotherapy has been inconclusive. Furthermore, little information exists on the provision of culturally competent mental health services that take faith seriously. This study investigated the effect that ‘Islamic treatments’ – psychological interventions informed by Islamic beliefs and practices - have on the experience and management of common psychological problems. Six semi-structured interviews were conducted. Themes covered were the participants’ experiences of common psychological problems, their religious beliefs and their coping methods. Transcripts were thematically analysed and the following themes identified: “Claims from Expert Sources”, “Cultural Differences”, “Mindfulness”, “Spiritual Weakness” “Difficulties of Belief”, and “Jinn possession”. The study found that being religious played an important role in the management of psychological problems. It gave individuals a sense of security, encouraged them to feel more optimistic about life, and helped to cope better with stressful experiences. These findings are of importance to health professionals involved in the treatment of individuals from a range of different backgrounds."

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