About Rahmah Wellbeing
Rahmah Wellbeing aims to bring together psychotherapeutic skills, neuroscientific knowledge and spiritual insights in creating a sense of wholeness and well-being through counselling and education.
Rahmah Wellbeing (born as Rahmah Counselling (2012); changed in 2016 to reflect a future that includes more than just counselling in it's traditionally known form) is the name chosen for the services I provide and moreso a concept and way of being I hope to share, teach and continually grow and learn from. The word Rahmah (from Arabic) encompasses meanings of grace, empathic, taking care of, extremely loving, compassion, mercy, affection, loving tenderness and attentiveness. It is the natural inclination of loving tenderness, which a mother displays towards her child. In Arabic the word for womb is Rahm, (where the essence of life is created) which is derived from the same root as Rahmah also linked to one of The most profound names of Allah (God). Something to reflect on, particularly in light of gender justice.
My personal interest in this name came from my specialist interest in the field of womb psychology and my amazement at the Arabic word and Islamic concept of the womb. The mind and heart are often studied but the womb in all its physical, psychological, emotional, spiritual, social, gender and cultural elements is not given the attention it deserves. It is the place where creation takes place and the implications of the womb and the foetus' time in the womb on later development are something I explored in my Cambridge Thesis. For me the name Rahmah fits perfectly for the services I wish to provide to the community.
This resonated particularly as I work significantly with the Muslim community (although not exclusively). I personally find the meaning of the word to be quite deep and meaningful and universally applicable.
In a world where there is much pain, suffering and difficulty the concept of Rahmah Wellbeing is my contribution to creating a positive conscious space for supporting, inspiring and uplifting the community through psychotherapeutic counselling and education.
Aaliyah Shaikh B.A (Hons.), PgDip, M.A, M.Ed (Cantab)
Aaliyah is the founder of Rahmah Wellbeing, she trained in Psychotherapeutic Counselling, and is a Birth Trauma Educator, Thinker and a lecturer in women's health, mental health, counselling, trauma and the womb and working with Muslims and health. Aaliyah is an Aziz Foundation Scholar (2017), she has been awarded a three year full scholarship for a PhD in Health Psychology (British Muslims experiences of pregnancy, birth and birth trauma). Aaliyah is also an on the committee of the Aziz Scholars Association (2019). She holds an M.Ed in Child and Adolescent Psychotherapeutic Counselling (Integrative) from University of Cambridge (thesis title: An unconscious alchemy of the womb: How women’s (psychosocial and spiritual) experiences and feelings regarding menstruation and birth affect their attachment relationship with their child) and a M.A in Muslim Community Studies from University of Loughborough in conjunction with Markfield Institute of Higher Education. She has also studied Psychodynamic counselling skills training at University of Leicester and has a Post graduate Diploma in Social Sciences amongst various other courses including Islamic Counselling and Muslim Leadership Development. Aaliyah has academic research interests in Global mental health, decolonising methodologies, Islamic ontology and epistemologies for research with Muslims, critical psych* studies, critical medical humanities, Muslim mental health, trauma, embodiment and women's health, ACE's, neuroscience and psychotherapy and much more...
Aaliyah volunteered as a Senior Psychotherapeutic Counselling Advisor with Inspirited Minds a Mental Health charity raising awareness of Mental wellbeing in the Muslim community from 2015 - 2019. Previously she worked with Muslim Youth Helpline from 2005-2007, first as a volunteer helpline worker and then contracted as a researcher and co-author for their first published report on 'Providing Faith and culturally sensitive support services for British Muslim youth'.
Aaliyah worked as the youngest employed Muslim female Chaplain at the time from the age of 24 for Imperial College NHS Healthcare Trust, St Mary's Hospital for 6 years before training as a Psychotherapeutic Counsellor and currently an academic scholar in Health Psychology. Aaliyah founded Rahmah Wellbeing in 2012 and offered the first In-Schools Counselling project at the time for Muslim schools in London as well as general counselling support for the community. She specialises in trauma, and the time in the womb as impacting later life development. She is interested in neuroscience, demedicalisation of birth, attachment, how adverse childhood experiences affect development, psychology of pain, the power of faith and spirituality in healing, the role of nutrition in mental health and the role of patriarchy in women's health. Aaliyah is a strong advocate for natural health medicine, unschooling/homeschooling, connecting with nature for healing, and exploring consciousness and spirituality of food and nutrition and the impact on mental health. Her passion is in encouraging women to reclaim their bodies and choices from culture, patriarchy, medicalisation and healing the trauma of the colonialisation legacy, as well as to contribute to education and awareness understanding mental and physical health and well-being with a deep sense of compassion and to empower women and men through igniting conscious awareness of the power of the womb to restore and heal. She is also keen on conversations around unlearning, de-labelling and normalising mental health experiences (especially of so called psychological-'scientific' labels' and the dehumanising and stigmatisation that can occur as a result of this), nurturing and nourishing people to heal, share experiences and breaking through conventional ways of thinking! Having observed and reflected on various gender dynamics within her work and wider society, Aaliyah feels there is a need to encourage men to be part of the dialogue too and focus on their healing needs and creating balance through embracing the feminine and masculine innate attributes of a whole self.
A traumatic birth leading to challenging health outcomes, difficult life experiences and living with fibromyalgia are what led Aaliyah to seek knowledge outside of the box, constantly searching for answers and to pursue against many odds all of what she achieved academically and professionally and that is why it is her passion to share what she has learned to help others in the hope to make a difference in life. Aaliyah is not just a lecturer or psychotherapist coming from a theoretical or academic background and nor is this a career path for her but she is someone with lived experience which is what gives her her unique insight and a deep commitment and passion to help and serve others while continually working on deepening her spirituality.
Part of Aaliyah's vision is to create a welcoming, empowering, inclusive, non-judgemental, open minded space for all in the community and to leave a legacy behind that involves breaking conventionally limiting ways of thinking and being and contributing in some way to conversations around healing, health and achieving excellence.
Disclaimer re logo and website content: The heart shaped womb logo is the copyright of Aaliyah Shaikh and it is expressly forbidden to take a copy in any way shape or form. It is protected under Intellectual property rights. Action will be taken against anyone found to have (or be associated with) copied, used or stored the image(s) and or text in anyway. All articles are my opinions based on research or my ideas- intellectual property rights apply. This disclaimer is as a result of having previously had my work copied and passed off as someone else's without any reference to me.