BackDr. Metra Azar-Salem
Dr. Metra Azar-Salem

Dr. Metra Azar-Salem

Marriage & Family Therapist / Visiting Professor

Visiting Faculty at Bayan Islamic Graduate School

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Metra was born in Kabul, Afghanistan. Her parents immigrated to the US when she was two years old. After she completed her undergraduate studies at UCI she began working closely with refugee women and children from Afghanistan. The experience inspired her to apply for her Master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy at Alliant International University, Irvine. She became a certified domestic violence counselor and worked for two years at a domestic violence shelter. She was accepted into the doctoral program in Psychology at Alliant International University, Irvine. She was one of 20 nationwide doctoral students selected throughout the country by the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists for the minority fellowship program. Through this program she was on full scholarship and attended extensive seminars and trainings by insightful therapists in the country. She completed her dissertation, which focused on creating a curriculum to enhance cultural diversity training for mainstream therapists working with the Muslim population.

Metra has a profound research interests in studying minorities’ mental health issues, identity formation, spirituality in therapy, substance abuse, marginalization of minorities, couples therapy, parenting issues, PTSD, ADHD, and children of minorities who suffer from autistic spectrum disorders.

She was the school counselor at New Horizon Elementary School for 3 years and currently works with children and adults in a private practice setting in Tustin. In her practice she utilizes Cognitive Behavioral Family Therapy approaches as well as the Humanistic model. She has always had an entrepreneur’s vision and as a result of her love of education she is the new business owner of the Mission Viejo Montessori. In her spare time, she raises money for Women’s organizations in Afghanistan, serves on the Pillars Academy School Board and teaches parenting classes as well as other seminars in masjids throughout southern CA.