Date of Award



© 2020 Carolyn B. Guillory

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Michelle Collay

Second Advisor

Kimberly Roberts-Morandi

Third Advisor

Gerald L. Johnson


The purpose of this Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) study was to examine caregivers’ perceptions of practices for outpatient behavioral health care. Effort was made to gain insight into the components of ethical service delivery. Significant data on the providers’ perceptions of care was identified in literature reviews, though it was not the case for perspectives of consumers or caregivers. This population has been identified as one which is likely to experience unaffordable, fragmented, and confusing behavioral health systems (Baker, 2015). Attempts to inform research by addressing the quality of treatment was a focus. The Research Problem: Since 2016, the suicide and child mortality rate for children has increased by 27% in the north Texas region (Smith, 2019). Adults who need behavioral healthcare are displaced and being taken to county jails (Gately, 2017). Qualitative research methods were structured interviews in conjunction with the IPA research design to learn of lived experiences. The eight participants were caregivers to consumers receiving behavioral healthcare from the Serene Horizons Health Center (SHHC), a pseudonym to maintain confidentiality. The study sought to answer: • What services have caregivers deemed as integral for outpatient program compliance? • What services do caregivers attribute as motivational forces which encourage consumers to actively participate in available services?

Findings identified consistent perspectives from all participants. Perceptions of integral factors for program compliance yielded quality service, professional conduct, and accessibility to services. Factors which encouraged motivation were identified as the consumers feeling cared for, supported, and motivated. Value was identified in experiencing a provider who cared for them by being supportive and motivating. Service provision will require rejuvenation, interagency education and collaboration, and advocating with a sense of urgency at the legislative level. Ethical behavioral healthcare should be practiced in all health care disciplines.


Ed.D. Dissertation