While employees in various fields experience burnout, social service and mental health professionals are particularly vulnerable because of the high levels of empathy required by our jobs. We also experience the stress of working with clients who are often in crisis and working for agencies where resources may be limited. Our focus is to improve the quality of life for our clients while striving to ease their suffering, which can lead us to become emotionally and physically drained.

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“For 15 years, I thought I had the happiest marriage. I believed I was one of the lucky ones, but then I found out he was having an affair. It devastated me! It was like waking up to a nightmare from a fairy tale…I know Allah tests those he loves, but I couldn’t handle it.”

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As Muslim clinicians, we know firsthand the challenges and blessings of Ramadan and fasting. Fasting can be a struggle, even for the healthy individual. But how does fasting and Ramadan affect our patients? From timing medications such as stimulants, to dosing twice daily regimens to help with mood stabilization or depression – sometimes we assume our patients will figure out answers to these complicated questions on their own.

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Knowing how best to advocate and work with clients who have been subjected to harassment and abuse can be a weighty and difficult task. It may seem even harder when those responsible for the abuse are trusted spiritual or religious authority figures whom our clients look to for guidance and support. When a client walks…

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