Positive psychology and forensic clients: applications to relapse prevention in offending behaviour interventions

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Traditionally, the focus in psychology has been to relieve suffering in matters such as mental illness. In forensic interventions, the focus has been similar, with an emphasis on the removal of offence‐related behaviours and thinking. That is, therapy has focused on ‘fixing’ what appears to be broken. More recent thinking in the positive psychology literature focuses on the importance of enhancing well‐being and happiness in clients and enhancing the client's own strengths and positive experiences. In turn, positive psychology adopts a strengths‐based approach to working therapeutically with clients. Positive psychology has a number of potential implications for working with forensic clients and the delivery of therapy and relapse prevention blocks. This paper will explores the potential application of positive psychology literature to offending behaviour interventions. Specifically, it focuses on the process of relapse‐prevention and self‐management, within the framework of the Self‐Regulation Model of the Relapse Process (SRM‐RP).

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)50-59
JournalBritish Journal of Forensic Practice
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2009