Zakat Foundation of America’s (ZF) Social Services Program offers a training course on how to identify, understand and counsel adolescents’ developmental needs. The course is administered by a licensed professional counselor who is grounded in Islamic knowledge and tradition. Our counselor is a Hartford Seminary professor of psychology who also conducts research for the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding on topics related to Muslims and Mental Health.
The course is a 4-weekend training program designed to provide workshops, hands-on training and supervised experience to prepare community workers to provide basic mentoring to adolescents. The course not only covers theories and research in child and adolescent psychology as they relate to physical, socio-emotional, and cognitive development, but it also uncovers the specific dilemmas and sociological factors that pertain to Muslim youth in America.
This course examines family, school and community practices and experiences which contribute to the integrated personality of the individual. The lessons provide a framework for how to effectively interact and establish a relationship through an empathic interactional style, establish appropriate boundaries, understand legal ethics, screen and identify common behavioral problems, gain an understanding of developmental milestones, offer basic counseling strategies and skills and refer youth whom the counselor cannot help to the appropriate professionals. It is an experiential course involving lecture, discussion, modeling/demonstrations of technique and role-play. Students are given case studies to exercise and synthesize the material learned in class. Students also conduct and record a counseling session with an adolescent using some of the skills and techniques demonstrated in class. Students with a passing grade receive a certificate upon completion of the course.
To bring the ZF Youth Counseling Course to your community, contact ZF Director of Youth & Community Building Initiatives at