Faith and healing: Incorporating religion in mental health counselling with Syrian refugee clients

Presenters: Gilan Abelaal, MA
Date:  Dec. 14, 2016



Syrian refugees, as with many refugee populations resettling in Canada, have a diverse range of religious or spiritual backgrounds and practices. As a counsellor, how might you incorporate clients' religious practices when assisting them with their mental health problems to? Is this recommended if you, as a counsellor, have different religious beliefs or practices from the client?

In this webinar, Gilan Abdelaal, Clinical Counsellor at COSTI Immigrant Services, will discuss the benefits, issues and strategies around the inclusion of spiritual or religious practices in counselling a refugee client. She will also share her experience of client-centred work in this realm with Syrian refugee clients.

Learning objectives

By the end of the webinar, participants will be able to:

  • describe the benefits of including elements of a client's religion or spirituality in a counselling setting
  • list ways to approach and learn about a client's religious beliefs and practices
  • recognize some of the client-centred religious practices that could be incorporated into treatment.

Presenter biography:

Gilan Abdelaal has an MA in Counselling Psychology and experience working with trauma, PTSD and the common comorbid conditions that are associated with these mental health disorders. Additionally she has training and employs the use of various psychotherapy approaches including CBT, DBT, TF-CBT, mindfulness, positive psychology, crisis intervention, strengths based therapy, solution focused brief therapy and narrative therapy. Currently Gilan is the clinical counselor working with the Syrian refugee population at COSTI Immigrant Services.

Gilan Abdelaal