The purpose of this paper is to describe a qualitative study using an idiographic approach to explore professionals’ experience of working with homeless people. The paper took account of the approaches taken by these professionals and the perceived affects and influences inherent in their work.
The paper used semi-structured interviews and an interpretative phenomenological analysis methodology to explore the professionals’ experience of working with homeless people, with a sample of ten participants (professionals) working within the field.
Three major themes emerged: helplessness; awareness of early traumas; and frustration at the response of mainstream mental health services. These findings support the view that a specialised personality disorder clinic would help professionals to refer complex cases to mental health services for a comprehensive package of support and care.
There is limited research into the emotions of professionals working in a difficult clinical settings associated with homeless clients. The paper will help clinicians, health professionals and commissioners identify the coping skills and the resources and tools to support the needs and demands of these service users.
The author would like to thank his fellow researchers: Fiona McDougall, Anastasios Spiliadis, Carolee Nugent and Sally Leonard for taking time to interview participants for this study. The author is also grateful to Prof Ian Hodges and Carol Pearson at the University of Westminster for allowing the author to publish this journal. The author would like to thank staff at Great Chapel Street Medical Centre for their continuing support, encouragement and help during the development of this paper. In particular to Dr Reid, Dr Peel, John Conolly, Dave Knight, Maxine Radcliffe, Brenda Hamilton, Pauline Seward, Stephen Dunn, Petra Belikova and Nicolas Vial-Montero for their expert knowledge, comments and contribution on their experiences of working with homeless people. Finally, the author also thanks Robin Johnson at Emerald Publishing for his patience and feedbacks.
Arslan, S. (2013), "“The experiences of professionals working with homeless people in a clinical setting”: a qualitative study", Housing, Care and Support, Vol. 16 No. 3/4, pp. 145-153. https://doi.org/10.1108/HCS-08-2013-0010
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