Date of Paper

5-2014

Type of Paper

Clinical research paper

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)

Department

Social Work

First Advisor

Abel Knochel

Abstract

The home visit is a service which began in early social work practice where the worker would visit the client in their home to ensure best practices. The literature and dominant beliefs of social workers highlight therapy in an individual’s home environment as an avenue of practice filled with difficulties, justifying abandonment of this method of service. This study examined the experiences of in-home therapists who provide services to individuals and families in order to explore how their experiences either aligned or contradicted the current literature. Therapists were recruited through convenience and snowball sampling. Using a focus group qualitative design, four in-home therapists discussed their experiences of conducting therapy in a client’s environment and how they were able to increase the effectiveness of therapeutic intervention through utilizing the client’s surrounding atmosphere. Participants identified increased effectiveness in the home setting regarding assessment, empowerment, rapport building, and ethical services. Participants also identified strengths in this setting regarding confidentiality and boundary setting, two areas identified as difficulties in the literature. The implications created from this study articulate the enhanced ability of assessment when conducted through a home-visit and the importance of social work education to incorporate in-home therapy as a method of practice to class curriculum.

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