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  • 2019SanaGillDClinPsy_update (1)

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Acknowledging the unseen: Muslim practitioners' understandings and processes of alleviating emotional distress with British Muslims

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

  • Sana Gill
Publication date2019
Number of pages170
Awarding Institution
  • Lancaster University
<mark>Original language</mark>English


This document comprises a literature review, in the form of a meta-ethnography, a research paper, using Grounded Theory methodology and a Critical Appraisal of the research process. Muslims may be considered to hold a unique worldview, with regards to the existence of the physical and metaphysical world. It was of interest to explore this epistemology within the context of therapy, specifically in relation to practitioners’ conceptualisations of, and processes used to alleviate emotional distress experienced by Muslims.
Section one, the meta-ethnography considers Muslim practitioners’ conceptualisations of emotional distress including both spiritual and non-spiritual explanatory models of emotional distress. Six papers were included for the review. Three themes emerged from the analysis: spiritual causes, non-spiritual causes and the impact on clinical work. Findings are presented with supporting first-order quotations and are discussed in terms of the clinical
implications and limitations of the literature reviews. Suggestions for further research are made.
Section two presents a Grounded Theory which shows and explains processes used by Muslim practitioners, in alleviating emotional distress of British Muslims, outside mainstream mental health services. 14 interviews took place with nine participants, who identified as holding a role in alleviating emotional distress within the British Muslim community. Three key components of the model are presented, practitioners’ conceptualisation of Islam and wellbeing, engaging a diverse range of British Muslim individuals and therapeutic processes used to alleviate emotional distress. Findings are discussed in terms of the clinical implications of the model with an acknowledgement of the limitations of the research findings. Suggestions for future research are made.
The third and final section, the Critical Appraisal, summarises the findings of the
previous sections. Strengths and weaknesses of the overall paper are acknowledged, and the researcher offers a personal reflection upon the influence of their epistemic position on the conduct of the research.