Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Program Name/Specialization

Spiritual Care and Counselling


Martin Luther University College

First Advisor

Dr. Kate Harper

Advisor Role

She assists, guides and encourages me through the process of thesis production to complete.



This study explores the lived experiences of second-generation Christian Korean Canadian young adults with mental health issues (MHI) and their use of health services (MHS). In addition, this study asked this cohort to discuss their beliefs about the views their parents held about MHI and MHS. All research participants were born and raised in Canada by Korean born immigrant parents. This study was descriptive, phenomenological, and qualitative in nature; it consisted of in-depth interviews with six male and six female participants. In their experience with MHI, seven participants experienced fear and sadness (depression and anxiety) and three of them felt uncared for due to their MHI. Of the participants who reached out for MHS, seven expressed their wish for mental health services (psychotherapy) to be integrated with spiritual care; prayer and trust were the key themes that emerged. Five participants trusted faith-based mental health professionals more than secular mental health professionals; some (N=3) said that prayer support helped their healing process and added meaning to it. Lastly, most participants believed that their parents held the opinion that MHI and MHS were shameful. A few (N=3) were influenced by their parent’s beliefs: one feared being diagnosed; the others feared talking about MHI with a stranger. However, most of the participants had experienced supportive care with their choice of MHS, thereby, allowing them to hold very different beliefs (less shame) than they felt their parents held about MHI and MHS.

This key findings from this study suggests that spiritually integrated psychotherapy may be helpful for some Christian Korean Canadian young adults.

Convocation Year


Convocation Season