A Call to Integrate Religious Communities Into Practice: The Case of Sikhs

Muninder K. Ahluwalia, Anjali Alimchandani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Sikhs, an ethnic and religious minority group in the United States, have seen a significant shift in their social location since 9/11. They have experienced harassment and violence beyond race and ethnicity to the visible markers of the religion (e.g., turbans). In this article, we address how counseling psychology is uniquely positioned to work with Sikhs given these circumstances. We provide an overview of Sikh Americans, including specific experiences that may affect treatment such as race-based traumatic injury, identification as a part of a visible religious minority group, and the impact of historic community-level trauma. We discuss recommendations for practitioners working with Sikhs, recognizing how community-level interventions play an integral role and how institutions may serve as valuable allies and resources for practitioners to help better meet the Sikhs’ psychological needs in a culturally competent manner.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)931-956
Number of pages26
JournalThe Counseling Psychologist
Issue number6
StatePublished - Aug 2013


  • dimensions of diversity
  • multiculturalism
  • psychotherapy
  • religion
  • social justice
  • spirituality


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