School of Behavioral Sciences


Doctor of Philosophy


Lisa Sosin


War Trauma, Meaning, Purpose, Refugees, Iraqi, Phenomenology


Counseling | Social and Behavioral Sciences


Student degree program: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Professional Counseling


The purpose of this research was to present a study that promotes understanding and exploration about how adult Iraqi refugees living in Jordan can still experience meaning making and hope in the face of suffering. The significance of this research lies in its unique findings that contribute to the body of literature concerning trauma recovery. A qualitative phenomenological in-depth interview methodology was used to explore the phenomenon of meaning in suffering among adult Iraqi refugees. The following research questions were used in this study to explore the phenomenon of meaning in suffering: Can life still be experienced as meaningful in the face of tragedy, grief, and suffering? If so, how do adult Iraqi refugees experience meaning and hope in the wake of their suffering? Can anything positive emerge from suffering? A phenomenological approach using semistructured interviews with a number of adult Iraqi refugees allowed participants to describe their lived experiences through their own perspectives. Through semistructured interviews with participants who have direct experience with the phenomenon, the essence as well as the variations of the investigated phenomenon across participants can be understood. Participants’ responses were recorded, transcribed, and repeatedly reread. The researcher looked for themes and patterns that emerge both within interviews and across the interviews. Findings indicate that the experience of meaning and purpose in life among participants include living in a safe environment and world, raising up a good generation, being men of good reputation and of influence, and respecting human freedom. The participants’ final message was this: Good values are what matters most to live a life of fulfillment.

Included in

Counseling Commons