Date of Submission


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)



Department Chair

Stephanie Felgoise, PhD, ABPP, Chair

First Advisor

David Rubenstein, PsyD

Second Advisor

Elizabeth Gosch, PhD, ABPP

Third Advisor

Jack Saul, PhD


The phenomenon of resilience is found in the literature reviews of trauma and is considered an important element in overcoming adversity and traumas (Brown, 2015; Civan Kahve et al., 2021; Saul, 2022). Resilience is considered to be a cultural, contextual, and historical concept, and its conceptualization, illumination of influential factors, and identification of coping strategies can be considered unique from one culture to another (Saul, 2022). Many research studies highlight the importance of resilience when coping with adversity and trauma, as well as incorporating a strength-based therapeutic approach. This approach incorporates one’s social and communal interventions and elements and cultural norms and values (Saul, 2022). However, there is a gap exists in the literature on the conceptualization of resilience and therapeutic approaches that incorporate the unique ethnographic, psychosocial, and cultural characteristics that need to be considered when working with refugees. Many research studies have applied a Western conceptualization when assessing, for example, Muslim Arab refugees’ resilience (Schelchter et al., 2021). Such application may result in misunderstanding refugees’ experiences, strengths, and capacities. This qualitative research design study aimed to understand the conceptualization of resilience, adversity, and trauma, identifying influential factors among female Muslim Arab refugees in the United States. The findings of this study will help researchers and clinicians develop, utilize, and incorporate culturally sensitive assessments and psychotherapeutic interventions, which will allow for the incorporation and promotion of resilience. These strategies acknowledge the consideration of cultural and communal nuance for patients who identify as female Muslim Arab refugees presenting for treatment.