The purpose of this study/paper is to describe the implementation of a six-month schema therapy awareness (STA) group. Research supporting individual schema therapy (ST) as an effective intervention for personality disorder is growing steadily within a number of settings including with forensic patients. Alongside individual ST, positive results have been reported for group ST. However, to the best of the authors’ knowledge, no current published research exists with regard to the use of group ST within forensic populations and more specifically within a low secure environment.
This paper describes the implementation of a six-month schema therapy awareness (STA) group with individuals situated within a low secure environment.
For individuals transitioning into the community from a secure setting, the focus of risk management should attempt to move away from external controls towards more of a reliance on internal factors. In ST, this is achieved by understanding the role of schema modes (and underlying schemas) that are linked to an individual’s offences/risk and developing this understanding into a coherent and accessible formulation for the individual to make changes.
Further robust research evaluating clinical change is recommended as the next step.
The group protocol is described along with the challenges and potential solutions experienced during the implementation. This provides an opportunity for other professionals to replicate this approach in the future.
With regard to group ST within forensic populations, the research is sparse at present and this study focusses on practical application of theory and the challenges of operationalising a STA group.
Lowenstein, J., Stickney, J. and Shaw, I. (2020), "Implementation of a schema therapy awareness group for adult male low secure patients with comorbid personality difficulties: reflections and challenges", The Journal of Forensic Practice, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/JFP-10-2019-0045Download as .RIS
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