Saint Vincent de Paul
Experiences
KRISTINE KNIGHT
CASEY LEONARDS
CANDACE LOPEZ
SAMANTHA MCCARTNEY
JESSIE NEEL
Overview
 Values/Beliefs
 Kristine Knight
 Denial
 Candace Lopez
 Demoralization
 Kristine Knight
 Problem Focused
 Stress
 Casey Leonards
 Stress Pile-Up
 Casey Leonards
 Palliative Behaviors
 Candace Lopez
Coping

Samantha McCartney
 Acute vs. Chronic
Behaviors

Samantha McCartney
 Resilience
 Jessie Neel
 Emotion Focused
Coping

Jessie Neel
Values/Beliefs
 A value is something that is a desired quality of
ongoing or continual action.
 A belief can change and be molded with time.
 Fatalism (Boss, 2002) is the acceptance of situations
and events not because of law or predetermination
by a higher power, but primarily because of cultural
and environmental conditioning that reinforces a
sense of powerlessness.
Demoralization
 Demoralization is the loss of morale and family unity
(Boss, 2002).
 The individual’s or family’s internal context is
composed of elements the family can change and
control (Boss, 2002, p.44).
Stress and Family Stress
 Hans Selye defined stress as “the common denominator of all
adaptive reactions in the body” (Boss, 2002, p. 16). “A state
manifested by a specific syndrome, consisting of all the
nonspecifically induced changes within a biologic system” (Boss,
2002, p.16)
 Boss defines family stress as pressure or tension in the family
system- a disturbance in the steady state of the family- a change
in the family’s equilibrium (Boss, 2002, p. 16).
 Stress is normal in couples and families. Stress is inevitable
because with any change comes disturbance- the guest at SVDP
had a very stressful time because they moved from a home to a
shelter.
Stress Pile-Up
 Pile-up of stress can help explain why one event can
be the straw the breaks the family’s back (Walker,
1985).


One event leads to another, and one may come up glued
because the stress pile-up is so unbearable.
Residents would fight over food or have a argument because
someone took their apple. This could have been because stress
pile-up. This was the straw that broke the camels back.
Palliative Behaviors
 “Lazarus defines individual coping as direct action behaviors (fight or
flight) that deal with the stressor and as palliative behaviors (actions or
thoughts which make the person feel more calm)” ( Boss, 2002, p. 73).
“He holds that an individual’s coping behavior is organized not by
emotions but by the cognitive process that leads to the emotional
response” (Boss, 2002, p. 73).
 Palliative Behaviors are common among those in unfortunate situations
because it is their way to cope with the misfortunes they are dealing
with in their lives.
 During my visits to St. Vincent de Paul women’s shelter I interacted
with a number of the women that live there. A few of them displayed
palliative behaviors in the way they would get competitive during
BINGO. As if for that brief time all the worries they had were to win
BINGO and not that they had nowhere to go and no one to help care for
them.
Denial
 Boss defines denial as “the refusal to believe what one sees or hears. It
is the refusal to believe or accept a physical reality” (Boss, 2002, p.
123).
• In the case of the ladies at St. Vincent de Paul, I witnessed at least one
case of denial.
• One of the ladies had a son who was also homeless and she would meet
up with him about once a week. Every time she would see him, he
would promise her that he was going to get them out of their current
situation. Every time I would ask her how those plans were going, she
would tell me that it was going great but that her son just was not
ready for her yet. She would continue to tell me that he was going to
get it all together and come get here, but I think deep down inside she
knew he would never get his act together. I believe that her staying in
denial kept her hopes alive.
Problem Focused Coping
 Used to master or manage a stressor (Boss, 2002)
 Problem focused coping targets the cause of stress
 Aim to remove or reduce the stressor
 Take control of situation
 Seek out information
 St. Vincent de Paul
 Male resident asked to talk to employee

Showed his ticket
Acute vs. Chronic Behaviors
 Chronic Stressors


Situation (as oppose to an event) of disturbed equilibrium that
persists over a long period of time (Boss, 2002)
A long-term situation rather than a one-time event (Boss, 2002)
 Acute Stressors

Events that happen suddenly and last only a short time

Duration is usually predictable
 St. Vincent de Paul


Most people experience Chronic Stressors like living in dangerous
conditions and in constant danger
Many also experience Acute Stressors

Man with broken arm for 3 weeks
Resilience
 The ability to recover from misfortunes and
challenges (Boss, 2002)

Must study both individuals and the family for a better
understanding of resilience
 SVDP guest portrays resilience
 Despite his past misfortunes, he found a job
Emotion Focused Coping
 Used when there is little that someone can do to
change the stressor (Boss, 2002)


Actions and thoughts to make someone feel better
Typically used by older people
 SVDP guests are happy and thankful, even though
experiencing high stress


Man is thankful to wake up
Woman happy and grateful still
Conclusion
 Working at the dining hall exposed Kristine to a variety
of people with different experiences.
 People cope with their homelessness in a number of
ways. Two ways in which she noticed were those of
acceptance and those of shame. Both held fatalistic views
but she found that those who were demoralized and had
not changed their values had a greater chance for
escaping homelessness because they still had the desire
to change.
 Demoralization is a loss of morale
 Values are desired qualities that are difficult to change
while beliefs are changeable.
Conclusion
 Stress is “A state manifested by a specific syndrome,
consisting of all the nonspecifically induced changes
within a biologic system” (Boss, 2002, p.16)
 Boss defines family stress as pressure or tension in
the family system- a disturbance in the steady state
of the family- a change in the family’s equilibrium
 Pile-up of stress can help explain why one event can
be the straw the breaks the family’s back (Walker,
1985).
Conclusion
 As stated earlier in Boss (2002), palliative
behaviors are actions or thoughts which make the
person feel more calm (p. 73).
 Denial is refusing to see or hear what is really
going on in one’s life.
Conclusion
 Boss, 2002, explains that Acute stressors are events
whereas Chronic stressors are situations


Acute Stressors  happen suddenly and last a short time
Chronic Stressors  long term situation
 Problem Focused Coping is used to master or
manage a stressor. It aims to remove or reduce a
stressor


Problem Focused Coping takes control of the situation
Seek out information to better understand the stressor/event
Conclusion
 As Boss (2002) explains resilience is the ability to
recover from a misfortune or challenge. To better
understand resilience, the individual and the family
must be studied.
 Emotion focused coping is a coping strategy that
people use when there is little they can do to change
the stressor. It includes actions and thoughts to
make them feel better.
References
 Boss, P. (2002). Family stress management: A
contextual approach (2nd ed). Thousand Oaks,
CA: Sage.
 Walker, A., J. (1985). Reconceptualizing family
stress. Journal of Marriage and the Family,
827-837.
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Family Stress Management Presentation