A Case Study Using Shame Resilience Theory: Walking Each Other Home

AbstractHomelessness is an epidemic that affects thousands of people in the United States, the majority being single adults. Stigma and shame are emotions that can saturate the homeless experience. People who are experiencing homelessness can be subjected to shame from society, their community, and themselves, but also by the very organizations and social workers who are meant to help end their period of homelessness. When a person feels shamed and stigmatized by a social worker or organization, they are less likely to seek out or return and receive the services that can help them change their circumstances. Incorporating the key components of shame resilience theory (SRT) into the engagement phase with people who are experiencing homelessness can have an immense impact on that person ’s ability to navigate their experience and build resiliency. The case presented is that of a woman who experienced homelessness for three years. Her experience highlights how shaming interactions with providers can lead to disengagement from services, while experiencing empathy and building shame resilience can lead to drastic change. By integrating the components of SRT into clinical practice with people who are experiencing homelessness, social workers will be informed regarding how to build a strong empathic relationship that is crucial to helping the individual build shame resilience an d the ability to change their circumstances.
Source: Clinical Social Work Journal - Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Source Type: research

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