Award-winning master’s thesis on the subject of loneliness
The research prize of the DBSH and FBTS is awarded to Kathrin Bürklin for her master’s thesis as part of her master’s degree in Clinical Social Work
“The perception of the phenomenon of loneliness in mentally ill people and possible interventions by clinical social work”: With this master’s thesis as part of her master’s degree in Clinical Social Work, Kathrin Bürklin has been awarded the research prize of the German Professional Association for Social Work e.V. (DBSH) and the Dean’s Conference for Social Work e.V. (FBTS). Kathrin Bürklin was conferred the prize on 17th November at the Dean’s Conference for Social Work, which took place online due to the coronavirus pandemic.
In her laudation, Gabriele Stark-Angermeier, second chair of the DBSH, praised the differentiated way in which Kathrin addressed a topic which is of importance for social work in general, particularly in the current time of social distancing. The master’s thesis was overseen by Prof. Dr. Eva Wunderer as first supervisor and Prof. Dr. Johannes Lohner as second supervisor at Landshut University of Applied Sciences. The key findings of the thesis, which was considered excellent in terms of both its theoretical and empirical approach, will be published in one of the upcoming editions of the journal “Soziale Arbeit” (Social Work).
The phenomenon of loneliness
In her master’s thesis, Kathrin Bürklin discussed the way in which the phenomenon of loneliness is perceived by (clinical) social workers in the outpatient psychosocial treatment of mentally ill people, whether the professionals consider it to be an area requiring action, and which interventions they envisage. Kathrin also completed and analysed guided expert interviews with six professionals working in clinical social work in Lower Bavaria. She came to the conclusion that the professionals are aware of loneliness and the need for corresponding interventions and consider the topic to be relevant to people suffering from mental illness.