Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work (MSW)


Social Work

Program Name/Specialization

Individuals, Families, and Groups


Faculty of Arts

First Advisor

Dr. Martha Kuwee Kumsa

Advisor Role

Primary Supervisor

Second Advisor

Dr. Brice Balmer

Advisor Role

Secondary Advisor and Committee Member

Third Advisor

Dr. Idrisa Pandit

Advisor Role

External Examiner


Spiritual Psychology is the study and practice of the art and science of the human evolution of consciousness. The heart occupies an important place in Sufism and is considered to contain the divine spark that leads to spiritual realization. Fethullah Gülen’s action-oriented Sufi methods described in his book series “The Emerald Hills of the Heart” provides the basis for a heart-based therapeutic intervention through self-journeying, which is the objective of this thesis. These self-purification and mindfulness-related transpersonal methods generate a form of treatment that is culturally sensitive. Through my reflections in this research, I transformed my personal experiences into a transpersonal narrative by writing 80 poems in 80 days, and this output, along with Gülen’s teaching methods, techniques and spiritual practices formed the source of my intellectually generated data, and the basis for the new therapy model. It took two forty-day periods in two different cultures—Canada and Turkey— to reach the necessary divine knowledge for discovering the innate power of the spirit. The journey involved seeking freedom from the ego, or the lower self, in order to reach self-awareness and a conception of how to use the self. I also categorized seven different levels of development of the soul, representing the levels or stages of the self, ranging from absolutely self-centered and egotistical to pure spiritual human perfection. My examination of the two forty day periods revealed the seven categories of thankfulness, purity of intention, reflection, patience, truthfulness, trustworthiness and presentation. From these I developed a model for ten weeks of therapy for a specific population. This thesis presents my journey in Fethullah Gülen’s Sufi path and an emerging model for a heart-based Sufi mindfulness spiritual practice. In this research, I propose a faith/spirituality-based model of heart-centred psychotherapy rooted in the spiritual philosophy, psychology and discipline of Fethullah Gülen’s practice.


Faruk Arslan is a Turkish-Canadian MSW, RSW, columnist, sociologist, journalist-writer, and the author of 25 books. Arslan is using a holistic Sufi Mindfulness approach, including mind, body and spirit in healing approaches. Topics normally addressed in therapy include depression, anxiety, relationship issues, family conflict, self-esteem and confidence, grief, anger, lack of focus, communication, motivation, trauma and abuse, childhood dysfunction, stress, inner conflict, managing behaviour, insomnia, eating disorders, psychosomatic issues, and parenting challenges.

English Web Sites and

Turkish Web Site

Convocation Year


Convocation Season