Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

MSW/MA Social Work and Child Development

First Advisor

Linwood Lewis

Second Advisor

Cindy Puccio


This thesis presents the experiences of a male social worker of color as he and his clients confront the intersecting challenges of racism, oppression, and poverty and their own developmental history. Drawing from attachment theory and object relations perspectives, this exploration delves into the complexities faced by social workers of color, illuminating how these themes significantly shape one’s professional journey and influence the dynamics of their interactions with clients. This thesis also examines how social workers’ personal experiences can inform their approach to addressing clients' unique challenges, creating a more culturally sensitive and empowering therapeutic space. Three case studies provide context to the intersection of the author’s position and identity and the therapeutic work that results from these interactions. Through embracing diverse perspectives and challenging systemic inequalities, this research advocates for a more inclusive and empowering approach to address the complex interplay of issues including experiences of racism, oppression, poverty, and trauma.

Included in

Psychology Commons