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In the Name of God بسم الله

Counseling/ Therapy

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j.angel

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4 hours ago, Abu Hadi said:

have our proper amount of sadness or pain and then move on. That is what he means by 'negative suffering'. Negative suffering, i.e. suffering that debilitates us psychologically or otherwise, is only a result of not putting these events in proper context, not the events themselves

But that's not how it happens in real life. Some pain and sufferings are ongoing and hence can't be moved on from. How does one prevent himself from getting affected by these?

 Hazrat Yaqub(عليه السلام) cried for years for his lost son - to the point that he lost his eyesight. 

I wish things were that simple.

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Posted (edited)
43 minutes ago, starlight said:

But that's not how it happens in real life. Some pain and sufferings are ongoing and hence can't be moved on from. How does one prevent himself from getting affected by these?

 Hazrat Yaqub(عليه السلام) cried for years for his lost son - to the point that he lost his eyesight. 

I wish things were that simple.

Yes, Prophet Yaqub was very sad, but the sadness didn't stop him from carrying out his duties to his family or his duties as a Nabi. What I meant by 'move on' is that you continue doing the things you need to do in life (working, raising a family, running a business, etc) without letting this sadness affect your duties. That is what I meant. Emotionally, yes, it takes a very long time to completely 'move on', but you can still be a highly functional person who is fulfilling their responsibilities to the maximum extent and also living a life where they try to be happy and content. 

This is , btw, what is meant by 'Sabran Jameelan', or 'Beautiful Patience' which was the phrase used by Prophet Yaqub in the Quran. This is how he((عليه السلام)) dealt with the sadness. So we are all capable of having this type of patience, if we put the events in context. It doesn't mean we won't still be sad. 

To get to that place, where you can have this type of patience is not easy. Sometimes you need help from someone, this is why I mentioned what I mentioned in my previous post. 

It's interesting you mentioned that because last night before I went to sleep I just randomly opened the Quran and that was the ayat that came up, the one you are talking about. 

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3 hours ago, Abu Hadi said:

Yes, Prophet Yaqub was very sad, but the sadness didn't stop him from carrying out his duties to his family or his duties as a Nabi.

Sadness is different from clinical depression, a condition in which your brain chemistry has changed either as a result of environmental factors, substance abuse, brain damage, etc. People who suffer from clinical depression often manifest physical symptoms such as excessive fatigue, weight loss/gain, panic attacks, etc. These people often times have no reason to feel the way they do, things can be going very well for them and yet still they are manifesting these symptoms. The mechanism of what causes it is still being studied by the medical field and neurological specialists within it and treating the root cause of the disease with the current medical & pharmaceutical technology is akin to trying to add motor oil to your car by popping the hood, pouring oil over the engine block, and hoping that some oil makes it into the crankcase.

Sadness is a regular part of the human experience and can be overcome without medical attention, clinical depression is an entirely different ball game. I personally believe that it is due in part to the unhealthy foods that we have in America and the West that are loaded down with preservatives and artificial flavorings that are synthesized in chemical laboratories. I'm sure that culture and environment also plays into things and that this doesn't help it, but there is certainly a physiological medical component to it.

There are other diseases that one can have such as Schizophrenia/Schizoaffective disorder that are much more serious than clinical depression as they can cause actual hallucinations of a visual or auditory nature. The people who suffer from these symptoms need to seek treatment immediately as they could become a danger to themselves or their loved ones. Fortunately, schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder are often treatable with therapy and medication, although people with these diseases tend to have difficulty in taking care of themselves & tend to neglect their own health and hygiene, so they actually tend to not live as long as people who are mentally sound.

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On 6/19/2021 at 5:03 PM, 3wliya_maryam said:

Now you mentioned sins being known in the public; so which is better; telling a number of your close friends about your personal issues, or referring to a psychologist instead,

I am still yet to find an Islamic scholar discuss the topic of seeking therapy from a non-Muslim.

A lot of what you discussed such as anger management etc. That's not really a sin committeed. Like if someone tells a therapist that they are short-tempered and need help - that's not a confession of a sin. Likewise other issues such as depression etc. I don't see how that would be a problem.

However if an alcoholic goes to a therapist and says that he has been drinking alcohol a lot and wants to quit - this is a confession of a sin and I'm not sure if that's even allowed in Islam - seems to me based on what I've heard is that we're not allowed to confess to anyone except Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى). But again, I'm not entirely sure and will try to see the different opinions.

Anyway its always ideal to get a Muslim therpaist - I really want to see more Muslims getting into this field. A lot of therapist bring in their personal views and beliefs despite them trying their best to be non-judgemental and unbiased. Also they always leave God out of the equation. I believe therapy with the element of spirituality and faith in God is extremely powerful. That's what we need.

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On 6/20/2021 at 6:58 PM, ali_fatheroforphans said:

However if an alcoholic goes to a therapist and says that he has been drinking alcohol a lot and wants to quit - this is a confession of a sin and I'm not sure if that's even allowed in Islam - seems to me based on what I've heard is that we're not allowed to confess to anyone except Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى). But again, I'm not entirely sure and will try to see the different opinions.

I've thought for a while that there needs to be an Islam-centered drug and alcohol recovery program in the way that evangelical christians have Celebrate Recovery. I think it would be an amazing means of dawah because a lot of people who are addicted to drugs and alcohol are trying to fill the hole in their heart that only religion can fill, and I think that's why Christian recovery programs are so successful and produce so many radically changed lives. If I was qualified in both alcohol and drug dependency counseling and knowledgeable enough about Islam, I'd start a program in my city.

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On 6/21/2021 at 9:58 AM, ali_fatheroforphans said:

A lot of what you discussed such as anger management etc. That's not really a sin committeed. Like if someone tells a therapist that they are short-tempered and need help - that's not a confession of a sin. Likewise other issues such as depression etc. I don't see how that would be a problem.

Anger is still considered a sin in  Islam, because it derives from the Shaytan. Then they'll tell you "have faith increase your iman, read quran etc.", theyre not long term solutions for everyone. Not everyone is able to cure their mental health through increasing their levels of faith. 

On 6/21/2021 at 9:58 AM, ali_fatheroforphans said:

However if an alcoholic goes to a therapist and says that he has been drinking alcohol a lot and wants to quit - this is a confession of a sin and I'm not sure if that's even allowed in Islam - seems to me based on what I've heard is that we're not allowed to confess to anyone except Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى). But again, I'm not entirely sure and will try to see the different opinions.

I don't see how thats different to someone confessing that they're short tempered. If they're doing it for the sole purpose of their own benefit, and that there's an actual outcome towards doing so, for instance if they started going to rehab for drinking alcohol and they stopped, then thats a benefit. I don't see why that wouldn't be allowed islamically, if there is a positive outcome. What if that alcoholic seeked therapy which led to his increase in iman? its still possible

On 6/21/2021 at 9:58 AM, ali_fatheroforphans said:

I believe therapy with the element of spirituality and faith in God is extremely powerful. That's what we need.

I agree. But gaining spirituality can be more difficult than gaining faith.

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7 hours ago, 3wliya_maryam said:

I don't see how thats different to someone confessing that they're short tempered. If they're doing it for the sole purpose of their own benefit, and that there's an actual outcome towards doing so, for instance if they started going to rehab for drinking alcohol and they stopped, then thats a benefit. I don't see why that wouldn't be allowed islamically, if there is a positive outcome. What if that alcoholic seeked therapy which led to his increase in iman? its still possible

I go to therapy, both court ordered and a private therapist to deal with the fallout of having schizoaffective disorder and the relapse that happened last April when I got paranoid again and did some things that I should not have done in retrospect. I was just at court ordered group therapy today and then have a private, 1 on 1 meeting with my therapist tomorrow. I see absolutely nothing wrong with this, especially because some of it is court-ordered and I'd rather just do what the court says than end up back in jail because I've seen the inside of enough jails and mental institutions in my relatively short lifetime.

Groups such as Narcotics Anonymous have a lot of credit for getting me interested in religion and spirituality, because they teach that sobriety and clean living is something that needs to be given over to however you understand your Higher Power. I had a sponsor who was a Muslim and that's what got me interested in Islam and it's worked well in keeping me clean and sober and there has been added benefits to the rest of my life that changed me for the better.

 

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