A qualitative exploration of therapists’ experience of working therapeutically pre-trial within the Crown Prosecution Service guidelines with adult clients who have reported sexual violence
AuthorsNixon, Madelyn A.
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AbstractThis research is one of the first qualitative studies to explore the lived experience of therapists who were working pre-trial, within the Crown Prosecution Service guidelines with adult clients who had reported sexual assault. The aim of the study was to obtain a detailed account of the therapists’ experience in order to acquire a deeper understanding of how the participants created meaning from their practice. Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis was chosen as an appropriate approach to analyse the data gathered. Semi-structured interviews took place with six therapists. Upon analysis five super-ordinate themes emerged which were, i) the differences between pre-trial therapy and generic therapy, ii) the psychological impact of working with this client group, iii) the complexity of the work, and competency of the therapists, iv) the dilemmas and conflicts inherent in the work, and v) an expression of a loss of faith in the Criminal Justice System. These findings illustrated the complexities that therapists are faced with when working with clients’ pre-trial. A discussion is provided relating to the extensive research that has been carried out since the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) guidelines were written in 2001 into the fallibility of memory following a traumatic incident, and the developments that have taken place in therapeutic techniques. In light of recent research and developments in therapy, it is suggested that there is potentially an argument for the need for a review and update into the current CPS guidelines into the provision of therapy for vulnerable or intimidated adults prior to trial. It is also recommended that further research is needed into whether the fallibility of memory following a traumatic incident improves after the person has undertaken an appropriate evidence-based trauma-specific treatment, and the possible need for a central register of therapists that are qualified to offer pre-trial therapy.
CitationNixon, M.A. (2019). A qualitative exploration of therapists’ experience of working therapeutically pre-trial within the Crown Prosecution Service guidelines with adult clients who have reported sexual violence. (Masters thesis). University of Chester, United Kingdom.
PublisherUniversity of Chester
TypeThesis or dissertation
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