Defense Date


Graduation Date

Spring 2015


Immediate Access

Submission Type


Degree Name



Counselor Education and Supervision (ExCES)


School of Education

Committee Chair

Louis Gregoire

Committee Member

Waganesh Zeleke

Committee Member

Rodney Hopson


Earthquake, Haiti, Psychosocial, Qualitative, Trauma


On January 12, 2010, a 7.0 wide magnitude earthquake hit Haiti and thousands of Haitians were left to cope with the aftermath, and many mental health concerns began to surface (Amnesty International, 2011; Cénat & Derivois, 2014). The main purpose of this study is to understand post-earthquake psychosocial issues in the Haitian context by studying the experiences of Natives in Haiti. This study provides implications for counseling support from international emergency response workers, counselors, counselor educators interested in providing mental health training in Haiti or other developing countries, and researcher's interested in increasing knowledge that has real impact on mental health issues in Haiti. This study aims to answer: "What are the experiences of Haitian Natives post-2010 earthquake in Haiti and the implications for providing appropriate post-crisis psychosocial support?"

This qualitative inquiry used Bronfenbrenner's bio-ecological model of human development (Bronfenbrenner, 2005) as a theoretical framework. Seven Haitian Natives who survived the earthquake in La Ville, Haiti shared their beliefs, personal narratives, and the culturally responsive care they received after the earthquake. Some of the participants also took part in a focus group. Informants' responses were translated and transcribed, and Interpretative Phenomenology Analysis (IPA) was used to analyze the transcription and field notes. Conceptual models captured the process and outcomes of psychosocial issues related to post-earthquake context in this study and were compared with previously developed conceptual frameworks. The findings of the study yielded nine themes and 27 sub themes. The findings suggest that the interviewee's experiences were both negative and positive. Some of the negative experiences were continuous trauma symptoms such as panic, worry, and fear. Some of the positive experiences were unity, leadership development, posttraumatic growth, and new appreciation for professional mental health. Based on the conclusions and results from this study, implications will be stated as they relate to practice, teaching, and scholarship.