This article builds upon an Islamic model of the soul (Rothman & Coyle, 2018) to develop a data-grounded, experience-based ‘iceberg model’ of Islamic psychotherapy. The findings and the model offer new insights for the continued development of clinical interventions within an approach to psychotherapy that has Islamic integrity and explicitly values Muslims’ religious orientations and commitments.
The advance online publication version is available with institutional access at APA's website here
The accepted manuscript version is available by open access here
The Iceberg Model of Islamic Psychotherapy (Rothman & Coyle, 2020)
The human being is body, mind, heart, and spirit. Often times, the self-help industry ignores this truism which brings about hidden, often unintentional misguidance that can lead to spiritual crisis, or worse, distance from our connection with God.
In this thought-provoking article, Dr. Abdallah Rothman shares powerful points including:
Abdallah Rothman’s chapter begins this volume by distinguishing between Muslim mental health and Islamic psychology and asserting the existence of and need for a uniquely Islamic paradigm of human psychology. He goes on to describe how Islam can be viewed as a system for psychological wellbeing or a ‘science of the soul’ and how he operates from within an Islamic theoretical orientation to psychology. He concludes by giving examples from his clinical practice of how he works with his clients by employing uniquely Islamic therapeutic interventions derived from the Islamic tradition.
A uniquely Islamic theoretical framework for an Islamic psychology has yet to be established. To do so requires that we understand how human beings are conceptualized within the cosmology that characterizes the Islamic tradition. This paper presents a model of the soul from within an Islamic paradigm, generated through a grounded theory analysis of interviews with 18 key informants with relevant academic or religious expertise. The model elaborates aspects of a mechanism for the development of the soul that constitutes a potential foundation for an Islamic theory of human psychology and has particular relevance for Islamic approaches to psychotherapy.
Adolescence to early adulthood is a natural time of self exploration and discovery that shapes who a person will become. When young people lack the right resources to support them through this developmental stage, it can create imbalances that affect their character, motivations and behavior. Research shows that meeting young people where they are and supporting them from within the lens of their worldview is the most effective way to reach them and positively impact their development.
Researchers from around the world have conducted numerous studies in the last few decades exploring the unique cultural and religious nuances of the application of clinical psychology to Muslim clients as a response to the traditional Eurocentric narratives of psychology. This paper is a review of the last 10 years of research within this domain. A thematic analysis was conducted to identify research topical trends in the literature related to the subject. The following five themes emerged: 1) Unification of western psychological models with Islamic beliefs and practices; 2) Research on historical accounts of Islamic Psychology and its rebirth in the modern era; 3) Development of theoretical models and frameworks within Islamic Psychology; 4) Development of interventions and techniques within Islamic psychology; and 5) Development of assessment tools and scales normed for use with Muslims. Recommendations are also provided to help direct future research efforts to expand underdeveloped areas in this field.
Read the full article in the Journal of Muslim Mental Health
that was co-authored by Abdallah Rothman
with Amber Haque, Hooman Keshavarzi and Fahad Khan