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Keyworkers’ experiences and perceptions of using psychological approaches with people experiencing homelessness

Josephine Benson (Trinity College, University of Dublin, Dublin, Ireland)
Michael Brennan (Trinity College, University of Dublin, Dublin, Ireland)

Housing, Care and Support

ISSN: 1460-8790

Article publication date: 2 October 2018

Issue publication date: 6 November 2018

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore keyworkers’ experience and perceptions working with people experiencing homelessness and the use of psychologically informed approaches in an Irish context.

Design/methodology/approach

In this paper a qualitative descriptive methodology was employed and face-to-face in-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted. Data collected were analysed using a thematic framework and transcribed by the researcher.

Findings

It was the view of the keyworkers psychological approaches allowed them greater understanding of psychological trauma and its effects promotes safe physical and emotional environments builds rapport between staff and clients and enables keyworkers to work more effectively with people with complex needs. There was also convincing evidence staff are quite receptive to training.

Originality/value

Given there is no research exploring the use of psychologically informed approaches in homelessness service settings, this study researched an area that has not yet been explored in Ireland. This qualitative descriptive research provides a platform from which further research can be conducted. It is hoped that highlighting the psychological issues of homeless people, the data obtained will help improve Irish homeless services, and the findings extracted beneficial in terms of future service developments, professional training and education.

Keywords

Citation

Benson, J. and Brennan, M. (2018), "Keyworkers’ experiences and perceptions of using psychological approaches with people experiencing homelessness", Housing, Care and Support, Vol. 21 No. 2, pp. 51-63. https://doi.org/10.1108/HCS-02-2018-0004

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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