Counselling the Muslim couple - Using religious values rather than fighting them

Dr Sara Nasserzadeh

There are more than a billion Moslems in the world, living mostly in Asian and African countries. However, the Muslim population in the US, Canada, EU and Australia is between 1% and 6% of the total population. Their religious and cultural differences can create challenges for sex educatorscounselors and therapists that work with these clients. The purpose of this section of the symposium on sex and Islam is to provide the participants with the background information that can help in providing a better service for Muslim clients


Conflict of Interest: None disclosed
Financial Support/Funding: None disclosed 
Recorded: Sydney, Australia, April 2007

Sara Nasserzadeh
Sara Nasserzadeh
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Dr Sara Nasserzadeh

Sara Nasserzadeh, PhD, DipPST1, is a social psychologist, a COSRT2 accredited psychosexual therapist and AASECT3 certified sexuality counselor. She is globally recognized for her contributions to the field of sexual and reproductive health at the clinical as well as policy and educational levels. Dr. Nasserzadeh is an award-winning author, BBC show host and consultant.  Her TV show "Whispers" is the first that is dedicated to issues related to sexual health in Farsi and it is aired for all Farsi speaking around the world. She has worked across 37 countries helping various organizations, companies, communities, programs and causes in the capacity of a thought leader in the sociocultural aspects of human sexuality and effective communication with hard-to-reach groups including adolescents, religious communities and socially marginalized groups. She is a senior cultural advisor and has worked with variety of clients including the United Nations Populations Fund, World Population Foundation, Stanford University and New York Department of Health.

In addition to her clinical and consulting works, Dr. Nasserzadeh, contributes to the professional organizations in leadership capacities; to name a few, for the World Association for Sexual Health (WAS), Dr. Nasserzadeh is a member of the Execurive Committee, she is an elected member or the Advisory Board and chairs the Middle East Sexual Health Committee. She was elected in 2006 to serve on the standardizing working groups for sexuality education as well as psychotherapy, which devise the global standard of practice for these professions. Dr. Nasserzadeh chairs the Middle East Sexual Health Committee at the World Association for Sexual Health. She chairs the North American Organizing Committee for the World Sexual Health Day (annualy held on september 4th).  Dr. Nasserzadeh was elected as a member of Board of Directors at AASECT in Summer 2014. She chaired the Communication Steering Committee which oversees the journal of the association, website and member's list-serve. She is an ASSECT Certified Sexuality Counselor and Approved Training Provider. 

Dr. Nasserzadeh has been a keynote speaker at various conferences and the recipient of numerous awards including the World Association for Sexual Health runner up award for Excellence and Innovation, for her international works in the area of sexuality education and sociocultural sensitivity (Sydney, 2007). She received the BBC World Service Award for "Innovation of the Year" for her program on sex and relationship issues (London, 2007). She has published several peer-reviewed articles, white papers, book chapters and two books. The book she co-authored with three esteemed colleagues was granted the AASECT Book Award Honorable Mention in 2011. Her most recent book is Sexuality Education Wheel of Context for educators, advocates and counselors. 


DipPST: Postgraduate Diploma in Psychosexual Therapy
COSRT: College of Sexual and Relationship Therapists
AASECT: American Association for Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists

Co-authors: Dr Pejman Azarmina, Health care consultant; Serim Kelami, Psychosexual Therapist; Dr Abbas Mohajerani, Professor of Islamic law and philosophy; Ayatollah Dr Fazel Milani, Professor of Islamic law and philosophy;
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WAS - World Association fro Sexual HealthSociety of Australian SexologiestsAustralian Centre for Sexual HealthashnAOFSCSEPI - Council of Sex Education and Parenthood (International)SASSM