Data from outcome research studies indicate that spiritual and religious approaches to psychotherapy are effective in improving the psychological wellbeing of clients. While there has been significant growth in the field of Islamic psychology, the development of an approach to counselling that is indigenous to Islamic thought and scholarly works is no simple task. The purpose of this study was to explore and develop the beginnings of a psychotherapeutic framework based upon the Islamic understanding of psychological wellbeing and healing. Using a modified Delphi method with Islamic scholars and teachers as participants (n=6), this study has demonstrated the application of a unique methodological approach applying Islamic epistemological and ontological principles. After three rounds of questionnaires using the Delphi method, emergent coding content analyses and quantitative analyses of the data resulted in 47 consensus statements on the Islamic views of human nature, psychological wellness and illness, and change processes. The major themes and findings of this study lay the groundwork for the development of a psychotherapeutic approach that can be used by counsellors and other helping professionals with both Muslim and non-Muslim clients. There is a need for further exploration, additional research, and multi-methodology studies to create a comprehensive and practical framework. The findings of this research ultimately further the collective effort in the field of Islamic psychology to develop an epistemologically and ontologically sound Islamic approach that can be applied in counselling practice.
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Thesis advisor: Minami, Masahiro
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