Psychiatric Cultural Formulation in the Islamophobic Context

  • Osman M. AliEmail author
  • Carol S. North


The DSM-5 Outline for Cultural Formulation is used (with an emphasis on the clinical relevance of Islamophobia) to guide the psychiatric assessment and treatment of Muslim patients. This chapter provides essential knowledge about Islam and Muslims in America while addressing Muslim identity, conceptualizations of distress, psychosocial factors, the relationship between the individual and the clinician, and services important to Muslims. Muslims understand distress or mental illness to be related to a combination of medical, psychosocial, religious, moral, and/or supernatural causes. Although only some Muslims in America are struggling with getting basic needs met, Muslims of varying socioeconomic backgrounds are affected by the negativity related to overt and covert forms of Islamophobic bias and discrimination. Clinicians need to be aware of their own inherent biases against Muslims as they themselves may have little knowledge about Islam or Muslims other than what they experience through Islamophobic misinformation. Muslims are a diverse group with growing mental health service needs that may not be adequately addressed in a system that presents barriers for Muslims to seek professional services or includes clinicians who are not trained to appropriately understand and address Muslim mental health needs.


Cultural formulation Identity Arabic Prayer Jinn Evil eye Black magic Refugee Microaggression Ruqyah Tibb Nabi 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Plano Community-Based Outpatient Clinic, Veteran Affairs North Texas Health Care SystemPlanoUSA
  2. 2.The University of Texas Southwestern Medical CenterDallasUSA
  3. 3.The Altshuler Center for Education & Research, Metrocare ServicesDallasUSA
  4. 4.Division of Trauma & DisasterThe University of Texas Southwestern Medical CenterDallasUSA

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