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Title: Escaping from homelessness
Author: Morgan, William J.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2724 7994
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2011
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This thesis addresses the question of what helps the homeless to escape from homelessness. It comprises an empirical paper, a systematic literature review and a paper reflecting on the experience of conducting research with once-homeless men. The empirical paper details a qualitative exploration of the experience of escaping from homelessness for five once-homeless men. Semi-structured interviews were carried out and analysed using interpretative phenomenological analysis. Emergent themes were: life breaking in, decision to change, bad past and good present, better future. Life breaking in considered how life events and relationships 'broke into' cycles of homelessness and drug abuse participants were caught in. Their combined effect seemed to be to bring participants to a ‘turning point’, where they made a clear decision to change. Participants' relationship with their past, present and future seemed key in maintaining their escape. Escape from homelessness was discussed in terms of identity change, especially the need to repair a broken identity. The systematic literature review evaluates the evidence for the effectiveness of therapeutic communities (TCs) for dually-diagnosed homeless. PsycINFO, Web of Science, ASSIA and PubMed were searched using terms relating to therapeutic community, homelessness and effectiveness. A total of 113 unique articles were retrieved and of these ten met inclusion criteria and were reviewed. The review found that TCs with adaptations for patients with mental illness, in addition to substance dependency, led to small improvements in substance abuse, mental health and housing outcomes. However, these effects were short-lived and few were still present after a year. In the reflective paper, the experience of conducting research, as a therapist, with once-homeless men was reflected on and the question of what therapists bring to research was considered. While therapists may struggle with some aspects of clinical research, they bring a range of skills and experience to this endeavour.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare