Psychology, Professional

Date of Paper/Work

Fall 10-25-2021

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.)

Type of Paper/Work



Consuelo Cavalieri, Layla Asamarai, Tatyana Ramirez


Muslims in the United States face a number of stressors as a result of acculturation and discrimination. However, this population underutilizes professional mental health support (Aggarwal, 2016; Interian, 2013; Gottesfeld, 1995). While literature exploring the mental health needs of Muslim Americans is increasing, research and psychotherapy applications on various cultural groups within the Muslim community remains limited. Muslim Americans are understood as one homogenous group in psychotherapy literature when Islam is a multidimensional religion that is understood and practiced differently and influenced by the cultural context of the individual (Ahmed, 2007; Hassan, 2007). This study explored the help seeking behaviors of South Asian Muslim Americans. Through participant stories, this study examined the cultural and religious influences on these help-seeking preferences. Narrative inquiry was utilized to understand the stories told by ten South Asian Muslim Americans. Through thematic analysis, several themes were identified that suggested that South Asian Muslims acknowledged the benefit of utilizing therapy but experienced barriers that resulted in underutilization (Leong & Kalibatseva, 2011). Findings provide insight into barriers to seeking professional support and religious and cultural issues among this population. Recommendations for psychotherapists to utilize when working with South Asian Muslim Americans and future directions are included.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.