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“It’s Not Just the Victim Who Suffers” Offence Related Trauma; Does It Exist and What Are the Experiences of Professionals?

COWAN, Hannah Ross (2014) “It’s Not Just the Victim Who Suffers” Offence Related Trauma; Does It Exist and What Are the Experiences of Professionals? Doctoral thesis, STAFFORDSHIRE UNIVERSITY.

Cowan Hannah DClinPsy Thesis September 2014.pdf

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Abstract or description


This research thesis evaluates existing literature which considers whether offenders who commit
violent crime experience psychological trauma as a direct result of their behaviour (‘offence
related trauma’). It further explores the experiences of professionals working with such offenders
who experience ‘offence related trauma’.

Chapter one is a literature review examining ten empirical studies which investigated whether
offenders who commit violent crime were traumatised by their actions. The findings revealed that a
significant number of offenders experienced ‘offence related trauma’. However, due to
methodological limitations these findings need to be considered. The results do pose significant
clinical implications for the assessment and treatment of ‘offence related trauma’.

Chapter two is an empirical study conducted in a low and medium secure unit which explored the
experience of professionals, including those undertaking professional training, working with
violent offenders traumatised by their actions. Six professionals participated in the study and the
data were analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). Three super-ordinate
themes emerged from the data; ‘psychological resilience of professionals’, ‘barriers to engagement’
and ‘managing offence related trauma’. These findings are integral to the application of clinical
supervision, staff training and the recovery of offenders. The findings are discussed in detail as
well as the clinical implications, limitations and areas for future research.

Chapter three offers a reflective account of a novice researcher conducting empirical research and
explores the parallel process between participant and researcher. Methodological limitations and
ethical dilemmas are also discussed together with the professional and personal impact of this

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: C800 Psychology
Depositing User: Linda FRADLEY
Date Deposited: 20 Jan 2015 15:42
Last Modified: 20 Jan 2015 15:42

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