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Working with offenders with personality disorder: it’s more than just the offender

Cooke, Ellena (2016)
Foren.Psy.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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This thesis considers the experiences of those working with offenders with personality disorder (PD). Chapter one introduces the concept of PD and identifies the aims of the thesis. Chapter two comprises of a systematic literature review of the psychological consequences of working with offenders with PD. The evidence suggests that working with offenders with PD can result in staff ’burnout’, feeling professionally isolated, reduced self-efficacy, and negative emotional lability. Despite the dominance of negative consequences from their work, positive experiences were also identified including feeling professionally challenged and satisfied.
Chapter three explores the experiences of professionals working within ‘Unit A’ for offenders with PD and personality difficulties located within a high security prison. The results indicate a multiplicity of factors impact on the experiences of professionals working on the unit, including the prison environment, synergy of the workforce, the level of support required and provided, knowledge level, and individual perceptions. Additionally, the by-product of personal change was identified, which in turn influenced professionals’ experiences of working on ‘Unit A’. The findings demonstrate that numerous factors influenced a professional’s experiences working on ‘Unit A’, and most appear external to the challenging personality traits of the individuals with PD.
Chapter four provides a critique of the Essen Climate Evaluation Schema (EssenCES; Schalast et al., 2008). Findings suggest that the EssenCES has an emerging research base which supports its rise as a valid and reliable measure of social climate. The chapter highlights the strengths of the EssenCES but also highlights the psychometric limitations of the measure.
The final chapter discusses the thesis findings with reference to the need for further research and the implications for current practice.

Type of Work:Foren.Psy.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Rose, John
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Life & Environmental Sciences
Department:School of Psychology, Centre for Forensic and Criminological Psychology
Subjects:BF Psychology
HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:7055
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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