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The Sufi Psychology Association was founded in 1997 by a group of psychologists and healthcare workers who saw their patients benefiting  when they utilized the teachings of Sufism in their care.

Since then, they have been actively working to educate, research, and publish on the topic.

The Sufi Psychology Association is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization whose volunteers span many countries across the globe.

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Our Story

The Sufi Psychology Association utilizes the teachings of the M.T.O. Shahmaghsoudi® School of Sufism in its approach to psychology. M.T.O. Sufi Psychology® is about each individual knowing themselves completely. This involves understanding all aspects of how their body and mind operates i.e., having awareness of what they are experiencing, understanding their stress response, recognizing what they need, learning to control and focus their mind, how to navigate thoughts and feelings, etc. Since it is based on the teachings of Sufism, the focus is for each person to gain mastery over themselves. To this end, it utilizes all evidence-based information that is related to understanding oneself. In other words, Sufi Psychology is a hub for anything related to self-understanding and knowledge. We integrate medical, psychological, social, wellness, and nutrition research while encouraging personal spiritual experience to create a holistic view of how the human being operates. The reliance is on evidence and science and not theory or belief. 

M.T.O. Sufi Psychology®

In a world where everyone is searching, be it for love, peace, joy, purpose, serenity, etc., Sufi Psychology directs the individual's focus inward. It is within where the answers, strength, and true unity lie. Once one's sense of stability comes from within, the outward struggles of day to day life seem less significant and they have less hold on a person. When one has discovered love, peace, joy, purpose, and serenity within, there is no longer a need to search elsewhere. Stress is reduced, anxiety is diminished, and confidence in oneself is strengthened.

How can I benefit from M.T.O. Sufi Psychology®?
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Since each individual is unique, the most effective way to learn is through personal experience. There are several different means of experiential learning available, such as courses, workshops, retreats, and Tamarkoz® (Sufi meditation) classes (listed in the Events section). Reading provides useful introductory information, and suggestions are given on the Publications page. In addition, the M.T.O. Shahmaghsoudi® website, mto.org, provides useful exercises and information on the spiritual basis of Sufism and its broad perspective.

How can I learn more about M.T.O. Sufi Psychology®?

It’s easy. Just click on Join us now and fill out the online membership application. Your yearly membership fees help to support the conferences, retreats, workshops and other educational activities, including this website. Yearly membership includes regular notification of news and events, subscription to our online journal, Sufism: The Science of the Soul, and a reduced fee for all Sufi Psychology Association activities, Information about members is never shared, rented, nor sold.

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How do I join?
  • The SPA holds workshops and conferences at various universities, in which participants enjoy an array of experiential learning activities.

  • The SPA provides online courses on Sufi Psychology.

  • The SPA conducts research on Sufi Psychology and the practices of Sufism.

  • The SPA provides Tamarkoz® classes and workshops. 

  • The SPA publishes a semi-annual journal, Sufism: The Science of the Soul.

  • The SPA provides wellness programming for hospitals and other organizations based on the Sufi Psychology modality and principles.

  • The SPA disseminates their findings at professional conferences worldwide and through publication.

What does the Sufi Psychology Association Do?

In contrast to the Western psychological viewpoint of the brain being in charge of the human being and the main agent for change, Sufi Psychology focuses on the heart. The heart is the gateway to the spiritual dimension of each individual and should control the brain and body. Professor Nader Angha uses the analogy of a lamp.  Many methods of psychotherapy address the various external dimensions of the lamp --- the type of bulb, the color, the shape, the cord, the size, the shade, etc., so that the lamp will best fit in its environment. Sufi Psychology instead focuses on ensuring that the lamp is plugged into the source of power, so that it will provide light.  Basically, Sufi Psychology seeks to re-organize the internal hierarchical structure of the human being by directing individuals to lead from their heart and not their brain.

According to the teachings of Sufism, human beings have two dimensions, physical and spiritual. The physical dimension includes the physical body, the senses, the emotions, the mind and their interactions with the outside world. Current psychotherapy modalities work within this framework to shift the biopsychosocial aspects of man.  Sufi Psychology expands the boundaries to encompass the spiritual dimension.

The spiritual dimension is not bounded by race, ethnicity, culture or gender and is “the true value of each individual” (Angha, 2002, p.125). It is from this dimension where the traits of love, forgiveness, strength, creativity and compassion emerge. These traits are often associated with self-actualization and have been known to have powerful psychotherapeutic benefits. Sufi-integrated therapy seeks to nurture this dimension and shift the focus of patients to one where both dimensions are balanced and working in harmony.

Angha, N. (2002). Theory "I": The Inner Dimension of Leadership. Riverside, CA: M.T.O. Shahmaghsoudi Printing & Publication Center.

How is Sufi Psychology different from Western Psychology?
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