Sufism and Psychotherapy: Talk by Armin Danesh on 16 Dec 2014

Armin-DaneshArmin describes his topic as being “neither religious nor promotional. I aim to present my personal journey with Sufi philosophy, to bridge some Eastern ideas with what we are familiar with in the West, and to suggest what this way of life may have to offer. Many scholars regard the Sufi philosophy as an existential and ontological one. On the concept of anxiety – many Sufis believe they have the remedy for all psychological disorders. However, followers of this faith may develop their own disorders: those of inadequacy, stress, and setting up unrealistic goals, which deny their real self.”

Armin says of himself that “I was born in Iran and brought up within an enquiring environment. From early age, my Marxist Leninist father taught us his philosophy of an equal world for everyone. In my teens I followed various spiritual movements, including Sufism. From age 15, I formed a close connection with Sufis and their way of life; I studied their faith and practice, and became familiar with their various denominations. I studied the philosophy of the great Sufi poets Hafez and Rumi.” Armin has qualifications in child psychology, pharmaceutics and pharmacology, and human rights and social justice. He chairs and is a founder member of the Phoenix Aid centre where he also works as counsellor and supervisor. Armin is active in other charitable activities helping refugees, and distressed children and families. He also finds time to write poetry in Farsi, teach judo, and help his wife to bring up their two daughters and one son.

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