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Author: NeelamZahid

Muslim Women Heroes

[To save and read later, click here to download your PDF copy] It’s not about the Burqa (editor Mariam Khan) is a collection of 17 essays written by a diverse group of Muslim women who are not ashamed of saying what they think and feel. In fact, this book unapologetically challenges the stereotypes projected onto Muslim women and the media’s portrayal of them. A refreshing collection of insightful, inspiring and honest stories give the reader a glimpse of what it is like to be a Muslim woman in an ever growing Islamophobic, racist and misogynistic world.  This book comes at a particularly…

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Death: why are we so afraid to talk about it?

[To save and read later, click here] You might be wondering why I chose to blog about death – well, because it is an area of life which intrigues me, scares me and saddens me. It is a topic which we do not often talk about unless it affects us directly, and even then, it can be difficult to know what to say or how to behave around this topic – I do not believe that it is morbid to talk about it or connect with our feelings, fears and worries about it. In fact, I think that it is…

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Healing Trauma with the Rewind Technique

[To save and read later download here for your PDF copy] Many people who come to see me for therapy, have normally had some experience of trauma in their childhood or adult lives. Their trauma is normally psychological and is an emotional response to an event or an experience which is deeply distressing or disturbing. It may include being involved in an accident, having an illness or injury, losing a loved one, or going through a divorce. Or it may include experiences such as childhood abuse, violence or neglect. Complex trauma normally describes exposure to multiple traumatic events and is…

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Child Sexual Abuse within BAME Communities

[To save and read later download here] Child sexual abuse can happen anywhere. It can happen in all types of families, within all races, religions, and socio-economic groups. However, within black and ethnic minority groups, this form of abuse continues to be under-reported and unidentified. NSPCC define child sexual abuse (CSA) as when a child is forced or persuaded to take part in sexual activities (All Wales Child Protection Review Group, 2008; Department for Education, 2018; Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety, 2017; Scottish Government, 2014). This may involve physical contact or non-contact activities and can happen online…

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Ramadan: the challenge of fasting with an eating disorder

[To download and read later click here] It is currently the holy month of Ramadan which is the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar. Millions of Muslims worldwide will be abstaining from food, water, smoking and sexual activity from sunrise to sunset. It is a month which marks when the Quran was first revealed to the prophet Muhammed and is a time for reflection, prayer, charity, community and spiritual connectedness. However, for someone with an eating disorder, it can be a challenging and difficult time. Eating disorders can involve eating too little or too much, and/or becoming obsessed with…

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Terrorism: how the world is reacting to a violent colonial history

[To save and read later, click here for your PDF copy] It is a lovely day today. The sun is out, there is a light breeze and I can smell the warmth of spring. The weather has been like this for the last few weeks, and I would normally feel quite excited to see the daffodils and crocuses making an appearance. However, I am carrying a heavy feeling in my heart. Since the New Zealand terrorist attacks on 15th March 2019, I am experiencing the start of spring this year differently to how I would normally. A part of me…

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Mindfulness as Self-Care

[To save and read later, click here] Mindfulness is everywhere right now – it has offered people something different in their lives which is proving to be very powerful. It has provided people with a practical solution to manage their stress and anxiety and seems to have filled a gap or void within people which may have once been filled with religion, spirituality or community. You can read more about how mindfulness works, and the benefits in my earlier blog “Anyone for Mindfulness?”. Many people associate practising mindfulness with doing a formal practise whilst sitting in a class with a…

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Racial Identity: the stages of development

[If you would like to save and read later click here] Since starting my own private practice, I have been acutely aware of the cultural backgrounds of people who contact me for counselling. Since I have worked within higher education for most of my counselling career this was never really an issue for me; clients were allocated to me purely based on the available counsellor within the team. Occasionally there might have been a discussion within the team if a client had specifically asked for a counsellor with my cultural background but on the whole, students could not choose which…

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Black Empathy: can we be empathic if we are colour blind in the therapy room?

[if you would like to download and read later, click here] The start of a new year can be a time for reflection, and for me this year, I have been reflecting on my journey as a therapist. An important part of my journey as a therapist has been being in therapy myself. I have always strongly believed that the more awareness I have about myself, the better therapist I will be – if I am more in tune with myself, then I am more likely to be in tune with my clients. The more I know about myself, also…

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Starting the Process of Emotional De-colonisation

[To download this blog and read later click here] Colonisation was based on racism. This abhorrent system affected approximately 400 million people worldwide and was based on the idea that one race was superior to another – that one race had the right to have power over another. Colonisation legitimised slavery and racism. It gave permission to the masses that people of colour could be exploited and abused, and that challenging this oppressive and dehumanising system was unlawful or terrorism. Some say that colonisation no longer affects us today and that decolonisation happened long ago. I was once told on…

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