Muslim Cultural Competence in Counseling

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Rasool says, "there are several issues that can complicate the mental health nurse encounters with Muslim patients. Muslims, due to religious expectations, may be accustomed to being examined or receive treatment interventions from a clinician of their own gender. If possible, this should be the norm. In the event of this not being possible, a clinician of the opposite sex can provide mental health treatment but should show sensitivity and understanding. Religious expectations regarding gender can complicate the therapeutic relationship. It is stated that, for example, Arab men may be reluctant to accept a female worker's directions or guidance and this problem may be due not from the male client, but may arise from a male family member in a position of
authority (Al-Krenawi & Graham, 2000). During the initial assessment,
the patient and the relatives may be reluctant to disclose information
about mental illness, sexual activities, abuse, and unlawful acts within
the family because of the stigma and social shame that result. These
behaviors might be misinterpreted as being un-cooperative or passive.
The issues of suicide may provide some uneasiness as this is taboo in
the Muslim community. It is important that sensitivity is applied
when providing assessment concerning suicidal thoughts, and may
require special phrasing. For example, Have you been wishing that God
would allow you to die somehow?
(Ali et al., 2009)

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Cultural Competence in Counseling the Muslim Patient.pdf
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