Marriage and family therapists’ perceptions and interpretations of readiness to work with Muslim clients: A qualitative study



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The purpose of this research study was to explore how marriage and family therapists perceive and interpret their readiness to work with Muslim clients. This study applied a phenomenological research approach to allow the participants to express their viewpoints and the meanings of readiness to work with Muslim clients. The participants were recruited using purposive and snowball sampling techniques. A total of 13 marriage and family therapists (12 LMFT-Associates and 1 LMFT) participated in this study. The research interviews were conducted using Zoom video conferencing with 12 participants and a telephone interview with 1 participant. Each participant chose the format of their interview. The interviews were video and audio recorded, transcribed verbatim, and analyzed for emergent themes. Seven themes emerged from the interview questions: (1) Not ready to work with Muslim clients, (2) A need for self-education about Muslims, (3) Willingness to learn from Muslim clients, (4) Concern about ethics, biases, and offending Muslim clients, (5) Lack of preparation in graduate school, (6) Opportunity to enroll in diversity/multicultural courses, and (7) Inclusion of diversity/multicultural courses requirement. Conclusions, implications, and recommendations for future research for marriage and family therapists, MFT programs, and other mental health specialists were discussed to assist them in preparing to work with Muslims.



Muslims, Muslim family, Clients, Work, Discrimination, Therapy, Family therapists, LMFTs, Readiness, Family therapy programs, Multicultural, Structural family therapy