Experiences of New Zealand Psychologists in a Changing Legislative Context

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dc.contributor.advisor Willis, G en
dc.contributor.advisor Barker-Collo, S en
dc.contributor.author Jones, Virginia en
dc.date.accessioned 2019-05-23T01:57:38Z en
dc.date.issued 2019 en
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2292/46491 en
dc.description.abstract Changes to New Zealand’s law and order legislation in recent decades have made provision for psychologists to fulfil increasingly prominent forensic roles. While the complexities of forensic psychological practice, occurring at the interface between the criminal justice and mental health systems, have been comprehensively described in the theoretical literature, few studies either in New Zealand or internationally have considered the experiences of psychologists themselves in navigating the role. This qualitative study aimed to consider both psychologists’ experiences of tensions experienced in working with people who have offended, and the ways in which such tensions are reconciled and/or managed. Sixteen psychologists working in a range of contexts with individuals who have offended took part in the study, with an average of 15 years’ experience. A qualitative methodology, guided by an interpretivist approach, was employed. Semi-structured interviews were carried out, exploring psychologists’ experiences of tensions and how such tensions were managed. Thematic analysis was used to analyse the data. The results of the thematic analysis indicated that while psychologists themselves viewed their clients as a highly vulnerable population, considerations of risk impacted on many areas of forensic practice, requiring psychologists to: classify clients into risk and diagnostic categories; focus less on therapeutic treatment and formulation and more on reporting; provide treatment predominantly on the basis of ‘risk factors’; compromise the therapeutic relationship; use clinical skills to meet the security demands of the criminal justice context; and compromise professional integrity. The findings suggest that demands for community safety increasingly take priority over the needs of forensic clients. Psychologists were found to hold different values as they endeavoured to manage the tensions they were faced with, which contributed to them occupying positions of accepting, challenging, or leaving a forensic work setting. Regardless of the position taken by participants, all endeavoured to find ways in which they could optimise benefits to their forensic clients. Psychologists identified, however, that they had previously been viewed as ‘helpers’ by their clients, but were now often viewed as ‘deciders of fate’. The findings thus highlight a need for psychologists to restore the faith of forensic clients in the profession of psychology. The findings are interpreted in light of ethical principles and codes, and clinical writings on ethical forensic practice. en
dc.publisher ResearchSpace@Auckland en
dc.relation.ispartof PhD Thesis - University of Auckland en
dc.relation.isreferencedby UoA99265151312802091 en
dc.rights Items in ResearchSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. Previously published items are made available in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. en
dc.rights.uri https://researchspace.auckland.ac.nz/docs/uoa-docs/rights.htm en
dc.rights.uri http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/nz/ en
dc.title Experiences of New Zealand Psychologists in a Changing Legislative Context en
dc.type Thesis en
thesis.degree.discipline Clinical Psychology en
thesis.degree.grantor The University of Auckland en
thesis.degree.level Doctoral en
thesis.degree.name PhD en
dc.rights.holder Copyright: The author en
pubs.elements-id 773002 en
pubs.record-created-at-source-date 2019-05-23 en

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