The use of restorative approaches in a forensic mental health setting

PhD Thesis

Cook, A. 2013. The use of restorative approaches in a forensic mental health setting. PhD Thesis Canterbury Christ Church University Salomons Centre for Applied Psychology
AuthorsCook, A.
TypePhD Thesis
Qualification nameDClinPsychol

Restorative justice is an intervention gaining worldwide recognition in criminal justice systems and other settings. There is a growing evidence base demonstrating positive outcomes in a number of domains, but to date there has been no research found focussed upon the use of restorative justice in a forensic mental health setting. This study used semi-structured interviews and grounded theory analysis to explore and develop a deeper understanding of the use of restorative approaches at an early stage of implementation in such a setting, looking at the experience of the intervention, issues particular to this setting and the implementation process. The aim was to attempt to understand the underpinning psychological processes associated with the intervention and to develop a theoretical model of the use of restorative justice in the setting. There were ten participants including restorative justice facilitators, patients and the patients’ staff victims. The final model highlights the role of containment and the necessity for facilitators to have a high level of skill when working with a complex, vulnerable and potentially dangerous client group. The findings are discussed in relation to theory and research with particular reference to the concept of containment. Restorative approaches are found to be congruent with models of mental health and offender recovery. Processing emotions, developing thinking and coherent narrative, and immediacy are found to be key components of the intervention. Clinical implications and limitations of the study are presented. Recommendations for further research to build upon these findings are made.

Publication process dates
Deposited02 Jan 2014
Output statusUnpublished
Accepted author manuscript
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