The experiences of seeking and receiving psychological support of homeless people who are from a minority ethnic background: An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA)

Prof Doc Thesis


Pudaruth, A. 2022. The experiences of seeking and receiving psychological support of homeless people who are from a minority ethnic background: An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). Prof Doc Thesis University of East London School of Psychology https://doi.org/10.15123/uel.8v502
AuthorsPudaruth, A.
TypeProf Doc Thesis
Abstract

The research explored the experiences of seeking and receiving psychological support, of homeless people who are from a minority ethnic background. Ten homeless participants who are from a minority ethnic background were recruited from homeless hostels in South London. Semi structured interviews were used for data collection. The interview schedule consisted of six questions related to themes of seeking and receiving psychological support, the contextual influences of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) was used to analyse the data. Four main themes emerged from analysis which included: ‘Impact on the ‘self’: ‘I was just a shadow walking the streets’; ‘Abandoned and mistreated: seeking emotional support’; ‘Devalued, invisible and powerless: acquiring emotional support’ and ‘Multiple inequalities: racism, discrimination, and coronavirus’. The findings highlighted that the participants felt dehumanised and devalued by interactions with professionals. Participants described a strong ambivalence towards seeking psychological support and connected this with experiences of feeling mistreated, ignored, and abandoned by a range of professionals and services. Moreover, the impact of culture, family dynamics and early trauma, all influenced the participants’ ambivalence towards seeking psychological support or decision to avoid support completely. Another key finding highlighted the power imbalance between participants and professionals. Participants described feelings of powerlessness which related to conflicting feelings towards seeking psychological support. Most of the participants described feeling unacknowledged, devalued, and unwanted when they had received psychological support with professionals; which negatively impacted their decision to seek further support. Moreover, participants had experienced racism and discrimination throughout their lives from different sources in the society. The BLM movement evoked difficult feelings that related to systemic racism and intersectionality, where participants felt positioned at the lowest position in society. Lastly, the coronavirus pandemic exacerbated feelings of social exclusion, highlighted further health inequalities and unequal access to resources in society.

Year2022
PublisherUniversity of East London
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.15123/uel.8v502
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Publication dates
Online15 Dec 2022
Publication process dates
Submitted19 Jun 2022
Deposited15 Dec 2022
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