1Fred Elazar‏

1University of Groningen, Groningen, the Netherlands


With nearly 1.5 billion adherents, the religion of Islam is rapidly growing across the world. Accompanying the growth of Islam is a rise in the prevalence of mental illnesses. Today, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is one of the most widely applied psychotherapeutic techniques for treating a variety of mental disorders. In the past, CBT has been modified to better suit the differing cultural demands of patients from non-Western backgrounds, and favourable outcomes were seen.

Material(s) and Method(s):

Systematic review


Our search yielded eight attempts at an Islamically-informed version of psychotherapy, including four publications demonstrating the efficacy of Islamically-adapted psychotherapeutic techniques. A recurrent finding was that the improvement of depressive symptoms in Muslim patients was greater following the implementation of psychotherapeutic techniques or strategies that included Islamic elements than from conventional psychotherapy. However, no studies exists that compares Islamically-guided psychotherapeutic approaches with conventional CBT on their ability to alleviate depressive symptoms in Muslims.


More research is needed on this topic in order to produce a culturally adapted evidence-based manual for conducting CBT with Muslims.