Exploring the experiences of non-statutory homeless individuals who engaged in an Adventure Therapy intervention

Orla Shehade, Alex Kyriakopoulos

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It has been suggested that homeless people might struggle with access to accommodation, health services and experience poor mental health. Although housing support is suggested to be the most important service-provision, it has been recommended that integrated approaches, incorporating both housing and psychosocial support, are required. Nevertheless, there is limited research exploring therapeutic interventions for homeless people. This study focuses on experiences of individuals experiencing ‘non-statutory’ homelessness with self-reported mental health difficulties who were living in supported hostel accommodation and had engaged in an Adventure Therapy intervention. Semi-structured interviews with the use of use of Repertory-grid Technique were carried out with seven participants. Transcripts were analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. Three master themes were identified: 1) Respite from negative experiences of homelessness; 2) Empowerment in relation to developing a sense of purpose and increased perceived self-efficacy; and 3) Changed Worldviews in relation to themselves and others. Participants’ reported development of a community which provided a holding environment to meet their expressed support and psychological healthcare needs. The psychological implications of this study points towards therapeutic interventions which involve meaningful activities, encourage contact with the natural environment, provide a space of emotional containment and develop a sense of community as a means of improving sense of wellbeing.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)348-358
Number of pages11
JournalCounselling and Psychotherapy Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 13 Mar 2021

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© 2021 The Authors. Counselling and Psychotherapy Research published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy.

Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


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