Dissertation Title:

The Other Side of War: Trauma of the Diaspora


Cynthia Sahakian

Date, Time & Place:

May 1, 2023 at 3:00 pm


The study used narrative inquiry to understand generational war and the history of Genocide in Armenia. The intention is to bring awareness to the world regarding the challenges and the chaos that one nation is experiencing and the trauma that they endured while the Armenian Genocide received little attention in the media. Narrative interviewing was used to discover how people who are part of the Armenian diaspora in Los Angeles, California have experienced Genocide in the past and to explore their current wounds as they watched their Armenian homeland attacked again, in 2020, as it has been attacked throughout the last century. The study aimed to understand the status of those who are exposed to violence and pervasive traumatic experiences for a prolonged period. These victims who live with the fear of racism do not have the ability to recognize their value in the world and they have a distorted self-perspective. Two research questions focused the study: What is the psychological impact on diaspora Armenians who witness their homeland embroiled in chaos while international media focuses its attention on other world events? How is the relative silence of the world another source of trauma for Armenians?

  • Program/Track/Year: Depth Psychology with Specialization in Integrative Therapy & Healing Practices, H, 2017
  • Chair: Dr. Mark Montijo
  • Reader: Dr. Peter Dunlap
  • External Reader: Dr. Kathy MacLeay
  • Keywords: Cultural Trauma, Armenian Genocide And Continuous Wars, Psychological Effects Of War, Loss, Grief And Guilt, Loss Of Land