Dissertation Title:

From Suffering to Wounded Healer: A Study on Women of Color Therapists


Emily Morales

Date, Time & Place:

January 22, 2024 at 11:00 am


The purpose of this study was to highlight the voices of women of color in the field of psychology. This study discovered common themes, common elements, and protective factors that are needed to encourage completion of licensure. The study utilized the voice-centered phenomenological method to understand the unique lived experiences of women of color who have achieved licensure. The five women of color that participated in this study shared protective factors, risk factors, and both challenges and successes to reach licensure. The five superordinate themes that were identified through the analysis were: Family of Origin Valuing Higher Education, Desire to Help Others, Importance of Peer and Mentor Relationships, Experiencing Burnout, and Suffering as a Source of Growth. All five participants stated that their own suffering and witnessing others suffer were part of their determination to pursue a career in psychology and complete licensure. This study incorporated the Listening Guide as an adjunctive method. I Poems were distilled from the interview transcripts to uncover the themes within each narrative. The I Poems reflect the participant’s unique experience in the journey to licensure.

  • Program/Track/Year: Clinical Psychology with Emphasis in Depth Psychology, Track OP, 2015
  • Chair: Dr. Brenda Murrow
  • Reader: Dr. Elizabeth Schewe
  • External Reader: Dr. Melodie Schaefer
  • Keywords: Wounded Healer, Suffering, Women Of Color, Becoming A Therapist