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Title: Relationships with staff in a community-based forensic personality disorder service : service users' perspectives
Author: McGibbon, Emma
ISNI:       0000 0004 2699 4090
Awarding Body: University of East London
Current Institution: University of East London
Date of Award: 2008
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Researchers return again and again to the therapeutic relationship as it is such a fundamental part of any type of therapeutic work. However, developing relationships with individuals diagnosed as having a `personality disorder' has been considered to be difficult. Those thought to be particularly difficult to engage in relationships are those within the forensic population who have attracted a diagnosis of `personality disorder' and who have histories of reoffending. This study attempts to understand the experiences of therapeutic relationships of these individuals in a community-based forensic personality disorder service. As much of the current research points out problems and negative experiences of relationships, this study aims to explore positive examples of relationships as well. Six male service users from a community-based forensic personality disorder service were interviewed using semi-structured interviews. An interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) was used to develop four themes from the interview data. The analysis revealed that relationships between participants and staff were complicated by their own concerns about engaging in close relationships ('stopping myself from getting close'). Difficulties also arose due to how staff were experienced ('other people stop me from getting close'). However, more positive experiences of relationships were talked about ('working the relationship out together') and participants found themselves to be active in their own rehabilitation when they felt empowered by relationships ('now I can make it happen'). The findings are discussed in relation to other research with this client group and theoretical understandings of relationships. Recommendations are made for how clinical psychologists can work directly with these clients and support others working with them. It is suggested that future research into relationships could focus on positive as well as more problematic experiences of relationships.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available