Department

Psychology, Professional

Date of Paper/Work

2014

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.)

Type of Paper/Work

Doctoral Project

Advisors

Salina Renninger, Kerry Frank

Abstract

Homelessness is a visible social condition that affects many people, both across the United States and locally in Minnesota. The issue of homelessness can also be seen as a rising mental health issue because of the complex mental health issues that correlate with being homeless. However, research is limited regarding the most effective way for counselors to work with clients who are homeless. While the literature tends to be focused on pathology among the homeless population, it may also be beneficial to obtain knowledge about resilience factors in the experience of homelessness. In addition, much of the literature on the homeless population is written from the point of view of the clinician or the professional, missing the voice of the client in this uniquely difficult experience. Without clear guidance on these matters, psychologists risk re-enacting experiences of oppression and disempowerment in counseling with clients experiencing homelessness. To address this concern, this qualitative study provides success stories about clients who have successfully transitioned out of homelessness and received counseling during that experience. While the study attempts to inform effective counseling interventions, it casts a wide net to be open to any variety of factors outside of counseling that clients believe were instrumental in their success story. Applying interpretive phenomenological analysis, this study explores the client’s perspective on the experience of and the transition out of homelessness. Findings from this study can be utilized to design future research on effective interventions, add to knowledge about the client's perspective, and learn about client strengths and resilience during homelessness.

Keywords

homelessness, mental health

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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