Morning Workshop 2

Understanding and Working with Arab/Muslim Americans: Cultural Competence in Mental Health Services

Raja Salloum, MSW, LCSW
CEUs: 2 Cultural Competence


This workshop will explore issues in working with the Arab/Muslim American population in mental health settings. Through a brief history of the Arab population, as well as an overview of the characteristics of Arab and Muslim societies, participants will achieve an understanding of acculturation issues, social issues such as domestic violence, and the stigma around mental health. Clinical strategies will be introduced and practiced during the workshop.

Learning Objectives

  1. Identify the demographics and characteristics of the Arab/Muslim population in the U.S. and NJ.
  2. Describe the Arab family structure, including importance of the collective identity.
  3. Recognize how mental health and domestic violence are viewed in the Arab community.
  4. Employ culturally sensitive strategies for working with Arab/Muslim American clients and gain confidence in using these strategies in practice.

About Raja Salloum

Raja Salloum received her BA in Psychology from Montclair State University, and a Masters in Social Work with a clinical specialization at Rutgers University. In 2006, Raja co-founded and served as a board member and Executive Director of TANWEER; The Arab American Family Center of N.J. Raja is published in Counseling Muslims; Handbook of Mental Health Issues and Interventions. She served as a committee member and a moderator for the first Arab American Communities and Disabilities Conference in December 2011.

Currently Raja serves as a clinician specializing in individual, family, couple, and group therapy with Arab-American and Muslim clients at the Mental Health Association in Passaic County and has more than 8 years experience working with this population. Raja also provides cultural competency trainings to various social service providers, school personnel, and non-Arab/Muslim counselors working with Arab-American and/or Muslim clients. She has also been featured on TV and radio shows and she moderates and takes part in panel discussions addressing mental health issues in the Arab/Muslim community.

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