Islamic Integrated Cognitive Behavior Therapy: A Shari’ah-Compliant Intervention for Muslims with Depression

Zuraida Ahmad Sabki, Che Zarrina Sa’ari, Sharifah Basirah Syed Muhsin, Goh Lei Kheng, Ahmad Hatim Sulaiman, Harold G Koenig

Abstract


Objective: Depression is one of the most common mental disorders that is encountered in the health care setting. Empirically-based psychotherapy for depressed patients that explicitly incorporates client’s religious beliefs and practices has been shown to predict faster resolution and may be as efficacious as antidepressant medication. There is a demand for high-quality research to evaluate the effectiveness of modified therapies that meet the needs of depressed Muslim patients, as research has shown that most of the existing interventions are methodologically weak. A Shari’ah-compliant Islamic psychotherapy intervention is a requirement in Muslim countries that practice Sunni such as in Malaysia.

Method: To address these gaps in research; we adapted a Religiously Integrated Cognitive Behavior Therapy (RICBT) that intergrates Muslim patients’ faith and practices based on the Quran and Hadith. We call this intervention Islamic Integrated Cognitive Behavior Therapy (IICBT).

Results: This article describes the steps taken to identify practices, approaches and the selection of verses from the Quran and Hadith that conform to Sunni Muslim scholars. The authors provide ethical considerations and a brief description of the 10 sessions.

Conclusion: Islamic Integrated Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a manualized therapeutic approach may help to assist depressed Muslim clients to develop thoughts and behaviors to reduce depression, informed by their own Islamic beliefs, practices, and resources. Further research is recommended to demonstrate the efficacy and improve the content and application of this manual.

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Keywords


Islam; Religion; Depression; Psychotherapy; Muslim

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