Seeking a Muslim Therapist

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Help for sexually abused Muslim woman

Jan 2008

I have a friend who has confided in me about a serious situation. She is muslim, from the middle east and has been abused sexually and physically by a male relative, not her husband, over more than a year. She recently, courageously, confronted her abuser and told her husband everything. He is being extremely supportive and is united with her despite recommendations from family and religious leaders that he divorce her. This will most likely leave them (and their children) isolated from their families and community. They are willing to seek help to get through this and I am especially worried about her as she continues to blame herself and has contemplated suicide. I would like to help them find a culturally sensitive and experienced therapist, preferably in the Pleasanton/Castro Valley/Livermore areas. Any recommendations or resources I can relay to her would be welcome. worried friend

Narika serves women from throughout the South Asian subcontinent (and elsewhere)dealing with issues of domestic violence. They have a helpline at 1.800.215.7308 or their web-site can be viewed at Their primary service area is the East Bay. Narika supporter

Please encourage your friend to contact the agency I work for, JFCS/East Bay, which has an office in Walnut Creek serving the Tri-Valley area. The refugee & immigrant department has a long history of providing mental health services for people in her situation. Cultural competence is a high priority: the clinicians come from the communities that they serve (meaning that though the agency is inspired by Jewish values, we have Muslims and Christians on staff). You don't mention where your friend is from, but we have particularly deep experience working with the local Afghan and Bosnian communities. The initial call should be made to Barbara Nelson, director of refugee & immigrant services, at (925) 927-2000 x226. Find out more at All the best to your and your friend, Holly