As the co-founder of the Islamic Counselling training programme, the first Islamic accredited training in the UK, I developed a theoretical underpinning for Islamic Counselling as well as a curriculum, and currently teach students in Islamic Counselling up to practitioner level.
Our model of Islamic Counselling (there's more than one) reflects our contemporary, non-sectarian outlook, responding to the needs of our diverse communities. It's inspired by our deep spiritual apprenticeship with Sufi Master, Shaykh Fadhlalla Haeri, with whom I learnt the importance of internalising the inner teachings of Islam, and further readings in Islamic Psychology.
I've lectured/trained in Islamic Counselling & Spirituality in Counselling in many mainstream and Muslim organisations, including the Universities of Tübingen, Durham, and Punjab, as well as the Muslim Youth Helpline, SOAS Islamic Society, Islamic Medical Association, and Markfield College for New Muslims. I've enabled Muslim grassroots organisations to offer Islamic counselling skills to their members like Wingz in Northampton, Pearls of Peace in Gloucester, and Whitechapel Islamic Centre. The facebook group I established on Islamic Counselling has almost 2000 members worldwide.
Abdullah and I contributed a chapter for the book 'Counselling Muslims'. I've spoken on Islamic TV/Radio programmes to raise awareness on Muslim mental health, and was Chair of the Muslim Women and Families Helpline for over 10 years. Originally trained in youth work and then in person-centred counselling, I've worked extensively in the drugs and alcohol field, briefly been a student counsellor, and have provided local government and other bodies with research, training, policy development, and consultancy in the area of teenage pregnancy, looked after children, sex and relationships, adult education, and diversity. I also offer consultancy on adult education to councils throughout Britain.
Counseling Muslims – Sameera Ahmed & Mona M. Amer - (October 2011)