Working with people who have killed: The experience and attitudes of forensic mental health clinicians working with forensic patients

Derith Harris, Brenda HAPPELL, Elizabeth Manias

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

AustraliaABSTRACT: Forensic mental health (FMH) clinicians sometimes feel unsupported and unpreparedfor their work. This article explores their experiences of working in a FMH setting in Australia. Theresearch examined the clinical context of clinicians working with forensic patients (FP), particularlythose individuals who have killed while experiencing a mental illness. A qualitative, exploratory designwas selected. Data were collected through focus groups and individual interviews with hospital andcommunity-based forensic clinicians from all professional groups: psychiatric medicine, social work,psychology, mental health nursing, occupational therapy, and psychiatric service officers. The mainthemes identified were orientation and adjustment to FMH, training in FMH, vicarious traumatiza-tion, clinical debriefing and clinical supervision, and therapeutic relationships. Participants describedbeing frustrated and unsupported in making the transition to working with FP and felt conflicted bythe emotional response that was generated when developing therapeutic relationships. Recommendations include the development of programmes that might assist clinicians and address gaps in service delivery, such as clinical governance, targeted orientation programmes, and clinical supervision.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)130-138
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Mental Health Nursing
Volume24
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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Mental Health
Psychiatric Social Work
Clinical Governance
Psychiatric Nursing
Social Adjustment
Social Psychology
Program Development
Occupational Therapy
Focus Groups
Psychiatry
Medicine
Interviews
Therapeutics

Cite this

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Working with people who have killed: The experience and attitudes of forensic mental health clinicians working with forensic patients. / Harris, Derith; HAPPELL, Brenda; Manias, Elizabeth.

In: International Journal of Mental Health Nursing, Vol. 24, No. 2, 2015, p. 130-138.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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