Interview With Psychotherapist Fatima Salya

How and/or why did you become a therapist?

I come from a strong Muslim Asian Community from Preston, England. During my teenage years listening to teenagers at mosque suffering from abuse. I realised this community needed therapy and a feminist. During my A Levels I had to choose whether to become a Lawyer or a Psychotherapist. I chose Psychotherapy as my life lead that way. During that time a close person to me suffered from Mental Health issues but the local Imam’s kept pushing towards Nazaar (evil eye) and Jinn (ghost). Now as a Psychotherapist I know all that meant Schizophrenia. Asians and Muslims don’t have a modern approach towards therapy. It’s more like an American or wealthy person that decides they want therapy. I really want to break that norm and encourage therapy as clearing thoughts is very important to put things into perspective and move on with life.

What are the most rewarding aspects of being a therapist?

The most rewarding aspects of being a psychotherapist are being able to guide the person. My recent client said, “You fixed me in a session.” : )

What’s unique or special in your background or approach to interpersonal relationships?

When two individuals feel comfortable in each other’s company and decide to be with each other, they enter into an interpersonal relationship. Whether that is friendship, love, platonic relationship, family relationships and professional relationships.

Interpersonal relationships you should be able to have a reasonable compatibility and communication.

– Honesty is very important do not hide things from your partner. Transparency is important in a relationship to be able to trust one another.

– Staying calm and being a little more adjusting is a very important quality as staying calm doesn’t instigate an argument.

– Forgiving from within do not drag issues unnecessarily.

– Smiling and taking care of your facial expressions whilst interacting. A real smile or a fake smile. “Smile is a curve that makes everything straight.”

– Time is an important role in relationships. To spend quality time to know each other and strengthen the bond.

What is your favourite or most interesting interpersonal relationship tips/advice?

I deal with clients who have had arrange marriages. Partners must feel attraction. I’m focusing on passion, intimacy and as they call it chemistry this refers to the physical attraction between two individuals. Individuals must feel physically attracted to each other for the charm to stay in a relationship for a much longer period of time. This isn’t focused on as arrange marriages focus on family, career, goals, interests or same morals and values.

What are some things about therapy that you want to increase public awareness about?

Make therapy a norm nothing to be ashamed of going to have a therapy session or suffering from Mental Health. We are to bothered what people will think and say. I’m a British Indian and when I visited India I realised countries that suffer from poverty have the highest risk of mental health issues. I watched people walking around talking to themselves. Where Imam’s try to cure mental health patients with witchcraft and the Quran. Therefore, I started a charity to help prevent Mental Illness in Poverty. “Stop people walking around talking to themselves they are experiencing living HELL!” If people don’t receive medication or therapy then how can anything progress in their life? Whether it is relationships with one another or career or life in general.

What are some of the biggest mistakes a therapist or patient can make?

Therapist and patient should be able to work together during therapy. If the client and therapist are not following the session together then no one has gained benefit of therapy. As a therapist to be open –minded and empathise is extremely important. Therapist and patient should try not to be ignorant and welcome anything that progresses between the therapist and patient.


You can learn more about Fatima Salya at

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