2018 Lecture: Faisal Mahmood “Jihad in the therapy room”

Date(s) - Saturday, 29 September 2018
10:30 am - 4:30 pm

Armada House, Bristol

About the lecture

Faisal will reflect on three areas that impact his identity as a Western Muslim Therapist.

  1. The Western perception of Islam, fed by sound-bites about Jihad and stories of atrocities.
  2. How these perceptions of Islamic concepts, taken out of context, may affect our contact with ‘the other’ in the therapy room.
  3. How this ‘distance’ inside and outside the therapy room impacts his work as a Gestalt therapist.

The word Jihad is understood as a synonym of terrorism, particularly in the western world. Given its perceived incompatibility with western democratic values, Islam has perhaps emerged as the ‘most distant other’ in recent times.  Faisal holds that it is important to understand Islam and the concept of Jihad with bracketed preconceptions, in order to offer any meaningful and unconditional therapeutic space to Muslim clients. He hopes that sharing his professional and personal experiences as a Muslim Gestalt therapist will allow an exploration of our own prejudices and hence support contact and awareness.

Faisal will share his experiences of working with a number of Muslim clients over the years. Many prefere a therapist who shares their faith.  He will consider incompatibility of the pronoun ‘I’ with the essence of a person as understood by the Islamic faith. Submission – the form of contact between Allah and a person – needs to be incorporated into our sense of what it means to be a person in order to engage such clients effectively.

In the afternoon, Faisal will facilitate an experiential session in which to explore participants’ experiences of Islam and Muslims.

About Faisal Mahmood

Faisal was born in Alkhobar, Saudi Arabia and has also lived in Pakistan.  He is currently based in Solihull, West Midlands.  He is a UKCP registered individual and group Gestalt psychotherapist and BACP  Registered Accredited Counsellor.  Faisal works as a senior lecturer in counselling/psychotherapy at Newman University (Birmingham), where he heads two programmes: the Introductory Certificate in Counselling and the Foundation Degree in Integrative Counselling.

Faisal has over 20 years of clinical experience working with clients in a range of settings such as GP surgeries, hospitals, and the voluntary sector.  He has a small private practice based in Solihull, offering individual, couples and group therapy.  He also provides individual and group supervision.

Faisal also facilitates personal development groups and Gestalt therapy theory-based CPD events in partnership with his colleague Emma Flax under their joint venture – www.gestaltgroups.co.uk.

Click here for format of the day


Ticket Type Price Spaces
Standard £85.00
For retired practitioners or those on low incomes
Student concession
For students of counselling or psychotherapy in training. Please state training below.

The catering will be vegetarian.

For student concessions only:

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