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Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
Innovative Therapeutic Care for Homeless, Mentally Ill Clients: Intrapsychic Humanism in a Residential Setting
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Residential care is increasingly recognized as an invaluable therapeutic resource for homeless, severely mentally ill, and substance-abusing clients. However, those managers and staff seeking to provide residential care can be perplexed by the communications of these clients and would benefit from a conceptual framework for planning psychosocial interventions to address these clients’ diverse problems. This paper describes how a comprehensive psychology-intrapsychic humanism-can be used as a flexible, consistent guide for serving this population in residential care. Based on a central principle that staff-client relationships can be a path to healing, intrapsychic humanism’s other precepts include treatment planning that recognizes clients’ conflicting motives and strengthens their constructive motives, understanding clients’ self-destructive responses to positive experiences, and helping clients govern their self-destructive behavior while enhancing their self-respect. (Authors)