Virtual Conference
Mental Health 2022

Spozhmay Oriya

Kabul University, Afghanistan

Title: Active coping with trauma and domestic violence: How Afghan women survive


Afghanistan This personal reflection examines the author’s experience while conducting qualitative research on the traumatic life events and coping strategies among the female workers in Kabul University’s dormitory for female students. It also describes the experiences of one of the study’s participants, a woman who suffered from severe trauma of domestic violence and enacted various ways of active coping.  This story is just one real example of many stories of Afghan women who experience trauma and different types of violence on a daily basis in their homes and in society. This story shows an example that how Afghan women cope with the crisis and traumas and how they sacrifice their life for the honor of the family, and for the future of their children. This story also shows how Afghan women tolerate hardships of life based on their strong religious beliefs and hope that a better day will come. This story has some important implications for counseling practice and psychosocial work in Afghanistan: it shows the power of empathic listening, empowering the personal and social resources of women such as Asma to make them more resilient


Spozhmay Oriya is a Ph.D. student in Educational Psychology with a focus on Trauma at Simon Fraser University, Canada. She was an Assistant professor in the faculty of psychology and educational sciences, at Kabul University, Kabul, Afghanistan from 2007 to November 2021. She has a BA in psychology and an MA in education and has been teaching psychology courses for 15 years in the psychology and counseling departments. Spozhmay Oriya has teaching experience at Kabul University, Kabul medical university, Kabul Education University, and Co-teaching at the American University of Afghanistan. Some of her research published in international journals. Her research interest is in the trauma and mental health field.