Narrative and Meaning-Making Among Manhattan Social Workers in the Wake of September 11, 2001

John P. McTighe, Carol Tosone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This qualitative study was a thematic analysis of categories of meaning-making contained in the written narratives of 139 clinical social workers living and working in New York City on September 11, 2001 (9/11) related to their personal and professional experiences of the World Trade Center attack. Themes included personal growth and benefit found in the wake of 9/11, the ongoing experience of adversity, and professional growth and lessons learned. Situated in the context of the literature on narrative and meaning-making, the findings offer further support for meaning-making as an intrinsic human activity and shed light on the various ways clinicians integrate an experience of shared trauma. Implications for theory, practice, policy, and future research are suggested.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)299-317
Number of pages19
JournalSocial Work in Mental Health
Volume13
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 4 2015

Keywords

  • 9/11
  • September 11
  • meaning-making
  • narrative
  • shared trauma
  • trauma narrative

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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