This paper seeks to discuss the need and scope for application of psychological therapeutic techniques in work with problems of chaotic or dysfunctional behaviour, as found among users of homelessness resettlement services.
The paper summarises recent research and UK policy guidance on the mental health needs encountered by frontline homelessness service resettlement staff on a daily basis. It goes on to discuss the impact of these experiences, and the value of training to help staff manage such encounters with greater awareness and skills. In particular, the paper considers the ethical dimension for staff, in responding to users' histories of emotional distress.
There is a relative dearth of studies providing evidence on stress and burn‐out amongst resettlement staff, compared to healthcare staff; nevertheless they face the same or similar pressures in their day‐to‐day work with clients. When asked to consider psychological techniques, some staff may initially fear being expected to be a psychotherapist; but research from clinical practice and recent training workshop experience suggest that training, especially where complemented by supervision or reflective practice, leaves staff feeling more confident.
The application of formal psychological thinking in homelessness resettlement is a relatively new field. This is the first paper to explore issues arising from the perspective of the ethical dilemmas faced by frontline staff in the work of relating to clients' distressed or distressing experiences.
Maguire, N. (2012), "Training for front‐line homeless workers: practicalities and ethics of teaching cognitive behavioural and dialectical behavioural psychological therapeutic techniques", Housing, Care and Support, Vol. 15 No. 4, pp. 177-185. https://doi.org/10.1108/14608791211288589Download as .RIS
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