What are the guiding principles of your work?
I went into psychology because I wanted to marry spirituality, love and compassion and psychology. I believe that Allah and His love and mercy are what truly heals, and felt that clinical practice would be so much more effective if it embraced and integrated this. I feel so blessed with Allah’s generosity which has allowed me to get the professional education, the spiritual healing training, and enabled me do this in my practice.
Below are some of the understandings that have made the most difference for me, both in my own healing and in service to others. Although the seeds of these ideas have been planted in me through many teachers and traditions, the fullest understanding of them has come through the teachings of my Shaykh Sidi Muhammad al-Jamal.
Open your heart to Allah and allow yourself to deeply experience His love for you. Feel it and know it in your heart, so that it is real for you and not just a mental idea or belief. Let your heart be filled to overflowing with this love.
This transformed everything for me, and this is essentially what I teach my clients and students. The more people taste this, their emotional wounds heal, their hearts are purified of what harms them and others, their anxiety and depression turn to faith and gratitude, and their psyches and lives are transformed in surprising and beautiful ways.
Trust Allah and act on your faith. Trust that Allah is truly your Sustaining, Nurturing Lord, caring for you every step of your journey. Don’t worry; just be the son or daughter of your moment and do what you need to do, and trust the outcome to the Most Wise. Lovingly help your clients to do the same.
Leave the mistakes of the past, whether they are yours or someone else’s. Allah says in His Qur’an that when we come to Him with repentance, He can make even our bad deeds into good deeds. He asks us to forgive others because we also want His forgiveness.
He is making a new creation in every moment and He can change everything in an instant. Whatever sorrows you’ve suffered; they are over and finished, but Allah can bring something good even from the most difficult circumstances.
Gently and compassionately help your clients to release the past so that they can free themselves of the prison of guilt and anger and become free to experience the blessings of the present.
If you do look backward at the past, do it with remembrance of Allah’s blessings to you. Focus on the good and the gifts in your life. If you start to count all the good that He’s given you, you will run out of time before you run out of blessings to count. Help your clients to do the same and it will open the door to peace, joy, and gratitude for them.
Look for the blessings in every challenge. There will undoubtedly be challenges, but enfolded within them are opportunities for growth, wisdom, and the beautification of our souls, if only we look for them and make use of them. As my shaykh says, Allah has placed a door to Himself within everything.
Finally, as a servant and helper to others, remember that Allah is the Healer. The psychologist, the physician, the acupuncturist, the herbal healer, the pharmacist, are vehicles for the healing. Truly understanding this is deeply humbling, for we are ever needy of Allah. But it also takes a lot of the pressure off of the clinician. We do what we’re given to do, but Allah is in charge of the healing process.
We may create a loving, healing space and offer the remedy our clinical training, experience, and intuitive guidance encourages us to give, but the healing itself is between the person and their Lord. We hold the hurting person with care and compassion but never lose sight of the Healer, Who loves them with exquisitely tender, intimate, mercy and compassion. Allah knows best and gives what is best, and we can trust Him to do that.
May Allah bless you and bring you ever closer to Him and open the door for you to serve many and be the vehicle for His love, blessings, healing, and guidance to pour forth in abundance upon every heart you meet.
Dr. Elizabeth Ihsan Rose is faculty at UOS.
To experience how to integrate your spirituality into your work, we invite you to register for the telecourse, “Keys to a Fulfilled Work Life: Working with the Heart”. Click here for information.