The Association of Psychological Assistance to Muslims created in 2017 with the support of the Foundation for the Support of Islamic Culture, Science and Education.
Chairman of the board of the Association of Psychological Assistance to Muslims – Olga Pavlova, PhD in Pedagogy, professor of the Department of Cross-Cultural Psychology and Psychological Problems of Multicultural Education; Moscow State University of Psychology & Education; Member of the International Association for the Psychology of Religion; editorial board member of peer reviewed International psychological journal «Mental Health, Religion and Culture». The author of 4 monographs and 100 articles on the issues of cross-cultural psychology. Her research interests are focused on the study of the socio-psychological features of ethnic groups in the North Caucasus and the psychology of Islam and the religious identity of Muslims.
The Association of Psychological Assistance to Muslims holds in Moscow an annual scientific-practical conference «Islam: psychological stability as the basis of personal and social well-being», round tables on the most critical issues, refresher courses and seminars, webinars and online discussions.
The Association of Psychological Assistance to Muslims in Russia is aimed at solving the problem of applying scientific approaches to the psychological counseling of Muslims. For a deep understanding of the psychology of a Muslim and the implementation of psychological counseling in the Islamic paradigm, it is necessary to rely on the ideas of the personality development that have been formed in Islam.
The specifics of Islamic psychological counseling should be given sustained attention. In its work, the newly-established Russian Association relies on the experience of foreign colleagues, first of all, International Association of Muslim Psychologists.
Our Association provides the educational program for further training called «Psychological counseling to Muslims».
Psychological counseling to Muslims is a special psychological assistance. The distinctive feature of this kind of psychological work is using knowledge about the features of the client’s faith that are significant to the client’s personality: religious beliefs, religious language, values, sacred stories, ritual practices, and traditions and customs of Muslim peoples.
The main goal of this program was to form the following competences:
- The knowledge of religion and religious consciousness (the concept and components of religious identity, individual psychological characteristics of a person, which can influence the choice of a destructive sect or trend, types of religious manipulations and others).
- Cross-cultural psychological competences (knowledge about the specifics of the ethnic culture of Muslim clients, which has a significant impact on the nature of psychological assistance).
- Methodological competence in the field of psychological counseling (the ability to make qualified judgments, form hypotheses, test, make decisions in each situation, achieving results). This program introduces work in such approaches as systemic family therapy, gestalt method, existential approach and monodrama capabilities.
- Differential psychological competence in determining client’s psycho type and individual organization level.
The training took place internally in person and online. Students had the opportunity to watch lectures and participate in the discussion of given topics. This program included practical exercises, where students in pairs worked out the proposed exercises for practicing the skills of a counseling psychologist. In the last month of training specialists conducted psychological consultations of clients under the supervision of an expert and were able to receive feedback and recommendations from our teachers.
Knowledge of the religious specifics helps in solving a professional task - psychological work with problems, presented at psychological counseling to a psychologist by a religious person, Muslim families and children from such families. After completing the training, students noted not only increasing of the professional confidence but also an improvement of the practical tools in working with Muslim clients .
The Association pays great attention to the development of scientific activities in Russia. For this aim, empirical studies are conducted, with their results published in the international peer-reviewed journal «Minbar. Islamic Studies» and in the Association’s journal «Islam: personality and society».
+79104790076 Olga Pavlova