Over the past decade, there has been widespread interest and a growing number of publications on topics related to the clinical practice of Islamic Psychology. Alongside the growth in the literature, this trend has also witnessed the increased establishment of organizations, clinics, conferences, symposiums, and courses within this nascent field. Such an interest in Islamically-oriented mental health services continues to grow alongside the interest in the new generation of Muslim practitioners to be trained in Islamically integrated methods of psychotherapy.
Muslims have become dissatisfied with merely importing Western ideas and models to their countries and communities and are in search of truly integrative and religiously aligned solutions to their mental health concerns. Furthermore, the broader field of psychology is looking to add diverse voices and perspectives to the discourse as evidenced by the American Psychological Association’s featuring of Islamic psychology in their conferences and publications over the past few years. To meet this current demand, Muslim scholars have been publishing and offering training to equip practitioners with the skills to serve the Muslim population.
The field is witnessing several IP training programs coming together, courses added to existing universities worldwide, and recent diplomas in Islamic Psychology being established. Now, the first international graduate MA in Counseling Psychology is to be offered in 2024 at Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) housed within the College of Islamic Studies (CIS). In order to help inform these current and future programs of training and education in Islamic Psychology, the theme of this symposium is focused on Education, Training, and Research in Clinical Islamic Psychology. Topics discussed in this symposium will help inform the development of Islamic Psychology education and enrich programs in the field by bringing together leading scholars in the industry to discuss approaches to training and education.
I am thoroughly excited to announce this first symposium in a series of upcoming academic activities on Islamic Psychology at Hamad bin Khalifa University. We pray that HBKU will serve as a leading center for research and education in Islamic Psychology worldwide. This symposium is very timely given the current state of the field of Islamic Psychology. Given the abundance of interest in Islamic Psychology and the emergence of programs internationally, this symposium will be the first to focus on education in the clinical applications of Islamic Psychology. As an educator of Muslim mental health professionals and researcher in the field, I personally look forward to benefiting from the contributions of the scholars who will make up the symposium. I anticipate deriving many insights and directions regarding the philosophies, objectives, deliverables, and approaches to nurturing and training the next generation of practitioners and scholars in this field.
Dr. Hooman Keshavarzi
Program Director and Assistant Professor
MA in Counseling Psychology