A Stanford psychiatry professor found herself in a strange position at the start of 2017.
The Trump administration had just banned travel to the United States from seven Muslim-majority countries, and Stanford’s Muslim community was in despair. Realizing that extra help was needed, the university asked Dr. Rania Awaad to hold therapy-like office hours with Muslim students. She’s a psychiatrist, but had been working in the classroom, not as a therapist.
Yet she could see that therapy was what many students desperately needed. She recalls one student sharing that her therapy options on campus seemed to be either a provider who knew nothing about Islam and the trauma she had experienced or one who was “oozing with empathy.”