Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Program Name/Specialization

Spiritual Care and Counselling


Martin Luther University College

First Advisor

Dr.Kristine Lund

Advisor Role

Supervising the research


Sohbets are spiritual, conversational and reading circles of a faith-based social group, called the Gülen movement. These circles are one of the most critical and common practices of this particular movement since its inception in the late 1960s in Turkey, and the practice now continues in Canada. The researcher conducted in-depth interviews with 14 men in the Waterloo Region in order to explore lived experiences of Turkish Canadian Muslim participants in the Sohbets in Canada. The researcher argues that the Sohbets create alternative spaces for the participants, which affect their personal and social lives, spiritually and psychologically, and support them socially as they adapt to their new country, Canada. He also suggests that the concept of the Sohbet can be therapeutically beneficial for other Islamic communities across Canada. The interdisciplinary nature of this dissertation highlights the relationship between acculturation and psychotherapy in the Sohbet’s religious context. The study concludes that the Sohbets satisfy the majority of the therapeutic factors in Irvin Yalom’s group therapy theories, and also introduces two new therapeutic factors, Ihlas (sincerity & pure intention) and Iltifat (blessing), to the group therapy theories.

Convocation Year


Convocation Season


Available for download on Sunday, December 18, 2022