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Sekechi, M. (2020). Encapsulated Sadness: Iranian Migrants and Exiles in London. Brit. J. Psychother., 36(1):76-92.

(2020). British Journal of Psychotherapy, 36(1):76-92

Research

Encapsulated Sadness: Iranian Migrants and Exiles in London

Mahnaz Sekechi

This paper is about the experiences of migration of middle class Iranians living in London, with focus on the psychosocial experiences of one woman. Her story is representative of the stories of Iranians who 'make it’ in exile. There is scant study of the lives of middle class Iranian migrants; I carried out research to contribute to the wider literature on migration and to address this gap. The paper is based on the empirical findings of a PhD study which drew on two strands of psychosocial methodology, BNIM (biographical narrative interview method) and FANI (free association narrative interview) to collect data. Ten Iranian men and women living in London were selected through 'purposive sampling’ and a 'snowballing process’ and each individual was interviewed twice. Examination of the data draws on psychoanalytic, sociological and psychosocial theories to gain insight into experiences of loss and the relationship between loss and sadness expressed in their stories. Common to all of the interviewees was a core sense of loss. This was mostly linked to losses of work, professional status, family attachments and complexities of cultural belonging and dislocation. The findings suggest that this sadness is of an encapsulated nature that cannot be worked through.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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