Skip to main content
Like a Deer in the Headlights: The Paralysis of Stuckness
Child & Youth Services (2008)
  • Ben Anderson-Nathe, Portland State University

When describing how they experience moments of not-knowing, youth workers often talk about a sense of paralysis, as though their uncertainty becomes physically constraining. This chapter describes the first of five themes associated with youth workers' experiences of not knowing what to do: the paralysis of stuckness. In addition to describing and investigating the dominant theme of paralysis, this chapter discusses its three variations, as described by youth worker participants: (a) It's just me, and that's not enough, (b) It's like a mental freefall, and (c) That crushing becomes your world.

  • Social service -- Research -- Methodology,
  • Social work with youth -- United States
Publication Date
September 7, 2008
Publisher Statement
Copyright (2008) Taylor & Francis
Citation Information
Ben Anderson-Nathe. "Like a Deer in the Headlights: The Paralysis of Stuckness" Child & Youth Services Vol. 30 Iss. 1-2 (2008)
Available at: