AbstractsWomens Studies

Korean migrant women’s experiences of depression in New Zealand : cultural understanding and change through a narrative therapy lens

by Minkyeong J. Kwon

Institution: Unitec New Zealand
Year: 2015
Keywords: Korean migrants, Korean women, depression, narrative therapy; 200208 Migrant Cultural Studies; 111714 Mental Health; 160702 Counselling, Welfare and Community Services
Record ID: 1299903
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/10652/2585


This thesis explores how the roles of women in Korean culture impact on Korean migrant women's experiences of depression, and how narrative therapy conversations can help Korean women who struggle with depression to overcome it. This project uses a case study approach for data collection, and the sample consists of three participants who have struggled with depression that is linked with Korean gendered/cultural ideas. They all live in New Zealand, have completed counselling sessions with the researcher, and have experienced positive outcomes regarding overcoming depression through narrative therapy work. Data were gathered from narrative therapy counselling sessions over time. Narrative analysis was used to interpret and evaluate the data, because it is known to fit well with case-centred analysis, which focuses on individual stories told by participants. Findings indicate the manifestation of shared discourses across cases, evidenced by similar beliefs and behaviour patterns. In each case, a narrative approach helped Korean migrant women who struggled with depression regain hope in their lives and enhance their sense of self-worth by externalising their problem stories in a wider cultural context, allowing them to discover their own ideas and hopes which were silenced due to culturally dominant ideas. Viewing persons in relationship with others was also effective, as it fits with Korean collectivism.