Conversations That Continue Long After They Are Over: The Impact of Research on the Researcher

  • Dana Grossman Leeman Simmons College School of Social Work


This narrative explores variant ways a phenomenological study involving eight adult child survivors of the Holocaust contributed to significant shifts in the researcher's worldview. and to her identities as a social work practitioner and educator, mother, and member of a religious and cultural community. In addition to briefly summarizing the study process and findings, the author further considers the life lessons taught to her by the eight participants. These lessons include being present in one's own life, relational resilience, the sustaining and restorative potential of kinship bonds, and commitment to social activism, humility, and gratitude. A core lesson is the fundamental belief that there is good in others and in the world, despite continued evidence to the contrary. *Participant names have been changed to maintain confidentiality.

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