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Developing and evaluating interventions for women firesetters in high secure mental healthcare

Phyllis Annesley (Rampton Hospital, Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust, Woodbeck, UK)
Leonie Davison (Rampton Hospital, Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust, Woodbeck, UK)
Chris Colley (Rampton Hospital, Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust, Woodford, UK)
Liz Gilley (Clinical Psychology Unit, Department of Psychology, Sheffield University, Sheffield, UK)
Louise Thomson (Institute of Mental Health, Division of Psychiatry and Applied Psychology, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK)

The Journal of Forensic Practice

ISSN: 2050-8794

Article publication date: 13 February 2017

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the implementation and evaluation of interventions for women firesetters in high secure mental healthcare at the UK’s National Women’s Service.

Design/methodology/approach

Two types of Arson treatment programmes for women, one delivered to individuals, the other within a group context, were developed, delivered and evaluated. The evaluation incorporated qualitative and quantitative data, including psychometric measures. Qualitative data were analysed using thematic analysis.

Findings

The evaluation evidenced very high engagement with and attendance at treatment programmes, and several post-treatment gains. Participants’ ratings of programmes and qualitative feedback were similarly very positive. The study demonstrated that engaging women firesetters in their treatment is paramount and can be facilitated by consistent boundaries around therapy provision balanced with sensitivity, empathy and flexibility; providing interactive and varied teaching methods; ongoing service user involvement and recognising participants’ achievements; employing a mixed cognitive analytic therapy and cognitive behavioural therapy therapeutic approach; having input from fire service staff; and maintaining organisational support for firesetting interventions.

Practical implications

In all, 12 key recommendations are made for clinicians considering offering treatment programmes for women firesetters.

Originality/value

Amid few published papers on treating women firesetters this paper guides forensic clinicians in establishing and delivering interventions for women firesetters.

Keywords

Citation

Annesley, P., Davison, L., Colley, C., Gilley, L. and Thomson, L. (2017), "Developing and evaluating interventions for women firesetters in high secure mental healthcare", The Journal of Forensic Practice, Vol. 19 No. 1, pp. 59-76. https://doi.org/10.1108/JFP-12-2015-0054

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited