Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Therapist Experiences Working with Parents in Child-Welfare Cases
by Holiday, Bonnie, Ph.D., Institute for Clinical Social Work (Chicago), 2017, 203; 10751444
Abstract (Summary)

This grounded-theory study explored the experiences of 16 therapists in the Midwest, who worked clinically with parents mandated to treatment through the child-welfare system. All participants talked about their experiences working with this client population and the challenges and rewards they encountered.

Major findings derived from the results of 16 interviews, one with each participant. Participants discussed feeling alone in their work, due to a tendency in America to deny the magnitude of certain problems, including:

1. Child abuse

2. Child neglect

3. Poverty

4. Domestic violence

5. Sexual abuse

Participants explored the difficulty of their work and its capacity to evoke numerous emotions. The triadic nature of the clinical work involving client, therapist, and the mandating agency can cause interference in the clinical encounter. Transference and countertransference left untended can be another source of interference. The difficulty of the work requires professionals to stay in tune with themselves, avoiding vicarious trauma or burnout. Despite their difficulties and challenges, most participants had adequate support, good self-care regimes, and a passion for helping―all of which made the work mostly rewarding.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Lampe, James
Commitee:
School: Institute for Clinical Social Work (Chicago)
Department: Clinical Social Work
School Location: United States -- Illinois
Source: DAI-A 82/2(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Social work, Counseling Psychology, Individual & family studies
Keywords: Therapists, Child welfare, Parents
Publication Number: 10751444
ISBN: 9798664745986
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