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Mr Fred Elazar

Mr. Fred Elazar is a Psychologist at ACPN who completed his Bachelor’s degree in Psychology at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, and his Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands in 2020. He completed his practicum training in Tilburg, the Netherlands in 2020 with his graduate thesis on ‘Islamic Modification of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Muslims with Depression’.

Mr. Elazar has three years of experience in clinical psychology in the United Arab Emirates, Lebanon, and the Netherlands. He received his training in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) in the Netherlands, after which he started working as a psychologist in Dubai amidst the COVID19 pandemic. Since 2020, Mr. Elazar has catered to those with significant impact on mental health while also working with those having medium to long-term COVID19 effects.

Mr. Elazar is an active speaker leading webinars, seminars, and lectures on topics in psychology at high schools and universities across the GCC. Mr. Elazar also works, in parallel, in academia as Adjunct Instructor of Psychology at University of Balamand, Dubai and American University Dubai.

Mr. Elazar works with adolescents and adults on a wide array of conditions. He employs CBT to address issues such as anxiety disorders, obsessive-compulsive conditions, eating disorders, mood disturbances such as depression; self-esteem concerns, as well as impulse control management. A special topic of interest to Mr. Elazar is addressing addictive video gaming behaviors and challenges in young adults through his CBT approach.

The Islamic modification of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Muslims with Depression

With nearly 1.5 billion adherents, the religion of Islam is rapidly growing across the world. Accompanying the growth of Islam is a rise in the prevalence of mental illnesses. Today, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is one of the most widely applied psychotherapeutic techniques for treating a variety of mental disorders. In the past, CBT has been modified to better suit the differing cultural demands of patients from non-Western backgrounds, and favourable outcomes were seen. In light of this, this review aims to answer the question; ‘Is an Islamically-modified version of CBT more effective for treating depression in Muslims than conventional CBT?’. This review summarized the available publications on Islamically-informed attempts at conducting psychotherapy for Muslims with depression, as well as the evidence for the efficacies of these attempts. Sources were found using PubMed, PsychInfo and SmartCat Rug. Our search yielded eight attempts at an Islamically-informed version of psychotherapy, including four publications demonstrating the efficacy of Islamically-adapted psychotherapeutic techniques. A recurrent finding was that the improvement of depressive symptoms in Muslim patients was greater following the implementation of psychotherapeutic techniques or strategies that included Islamic elements than from conventional psychotherapy. However, no studies exists that compares Islamically-guided psychotherapeutic approaches with conventional CBT on their ability to alleviate depressive symptoms in Muslims. More research is needed on this topic in order to produce a culturally adapted evidence-based manual for conducting CBT with Muslims.

Mr Fred Elazar
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