Summary and Conclusion
This book raises the question, what is the status of American Muslims with regard to counseling and the mental health professions? There is no doubt that the American Muslim population aspires for inclusion, understanding, and respect in society, including the mental health field.
Many health professionals, both physical and mental, are seeking to understand the particular faith traditions of their clients in order to sensitively and effectively serve them. While understanding is required for all clients, it is more so for Muslims, especially after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. In addition to the documented widespread misunderstanding of Islam in the media and education, hate crimes, prejudice, and discrimination are increasing particularly after these tragic events.
Most current educational and training programs do not give much attention to the inclusion of minority populations (Ibrahim, 1991; Pedersen, 1991; Sue, 1989). It is encouraging, however, to know that awareness of religious diversity is on the rise, and such an awareness must be included as one of the requirements for adequate multicultural competencies by mental health professional organizations.
By explaining the various aspects of counseling and therapy through the experiences of both Muslim clients and of professionals, this book helps ordinary Muslims develop informed opinions about counseling. They will be able to know whether and when they might seek counseling as well as what issues could be helped by that counseling. Thus, they would know what to expect.