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Examining Prisoner Experience of an Equine Assisted Psychotherapy

Kewley, S, Robinson-Edwards, S, Riley, L and Fisher, D (2019) Examining Prisoner Experience of an Equine Assisted Psychotherapy. Therapeutic Communities: The International Journal of Therapeutic Communities, 40 (3/4). pp. 111-124. ISSN 0964-1866

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The purpose of this article is to examine prisoner experience of an equine assisted psychotherapy. This article explores the use of therapeutic interventions; specifically focusing on Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP), within this paper EAP constitutes the use of horses in therapy and involves a team approach from equine and mental health experts. This article took a qualitative approach; due to the exploratory nature of this study a phenomenological approach was adopted. IPA was deemed appropriate; the intervention took place in an adult, male, open condition prison in England (Category D) however participants who engaged in the equine intervention were from both the open prison and a nearby closed Category C prison. The equine intervention was delivered by qualified therapists who worked to help improve emotional regulation among participants with a history of drug and alcohol abuse. The findings within this paper identify a strong correlation between EAP and positive experiences expressed by participants. Alternative approaches such as animal assisted therapies are worthy of consideration when attempting to support the rehabilitation and treatment needs of incarcerated clients. Participants achieved a number of goals and their confidence improved as they felt a sense of achievement. This paper demonstrates the complexities of therapeutic interventions. Research relating to EAP in the United Kingdom is few and far between, consequently understanding is limited. This paper seeks to offer an insight into this topic and build upon this research in the future. Access to prison for research purposes is challenging. Due to the nature of this study and the resources required sometimes EAP therapy cannot be implemented in or near many prisons in England and Wales. Therefore gaining access to this prison and exploring the data is the first phase of further research in this area. Researching the way individuals experience therapeutic interventions is a ‘growing phenomenon’. This paper aimed to explore EAP Interventions, however due to the sample size it was imperative that the role of EAP was not misrepresented. Therefore this papers intention is to raise awareness of EAP interventions and therapeutic interventions in prisons in England and Wales. To the authors knowledge no previous study has examined such an intervention using this method and as such the findings of this evaluation are important. Moreover this paper enhances and develops our knowledge about how best to support and treat people with histories of substance use and/or mental health problems and anxiety while in prison, and the vital role such therapies may play.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This author accepted manuscript is deposited under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC) licence. This means that anyone may distribute, adapt, and build upon the work for non-commercial purposes, subject to full attribution. If you wish to use this manuscript for commercial purposes, please contact permissions@emerald.com
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
Q Science > QL Zoology
Divisions: Psychology (from Sep 2019)
Publisher: Emerald Publishing
Date Deposited: 26 Sep 2019 11:36
Last Modified: 04 Sep 2021 08:50
DOI or ID number: 10.1108/TC-01-2019-0001
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/11398
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