This IPA study hopes to explore the counsellor’s and psychotherapist’s lived experiences of the frame while working in a prison setting.

Langs defines the frame as ‘a metaphor for the implicit and explicit ground rules of psychotherapy’ (1979). The frame becomes adapted from the traditional ‘secure’ frame due to the unique challenges of the environment. Specifically, I will analyse how experiences adapt from the secure frame. I will be curious about the challenges of working in the political and social context of the prison system and how this impacts upon the therapist’s understanding and meaning of the frame. I have chosen the frame as this is arguably the foundation to psychotherapy (see Langs 1979).

The aim of this research is to explore the therapist’s lived experiences of the frame when working in a prison setting. Subsidiary aims are to consider:

  • their experience of the perceived impact on the therapy and therapeutic relationship because of the adaptions to the frame
  • the sense the therapist makes of the adaptions needed to the frame in this context

Name of researcher and contact details:
Nujoji Calvocoressi.

Why have I approached you as a potential participant?
As a counsellor or psychotherapist working in a prison I would be interested to hear about your experiences. This would be uncovered by one or possibly two semi structured interviews, approximately 60 minutes in length at a time and place convenient for you. I would be interested to hear about your experience in general as a therapist, your first impression of the prison environment, what drew you to working in a prison and your experience of the prison therapeutic frame in terms of the adaptations you make and perceived impact on the therapy and relationship.

How will you contribute?
Your experience will be kept anonymous and ethics are an important part of research. Your identity will be disguised as will those people you talk about including venues and places, your identity will only be known by me. Interviews will be recorded and transcribed to a password protected computer file. Any paper copies will be kept secure in a locked compartment. Once the interviews have been transcribed the recording will be destroyed. On completion of my qualification the transcribed interviews will be destroyed. Should you require a copy of either, this will need to be requested before those points. You may also receive a copy of the final research paper if you would like.

As part of the process of participating I will send you an Informed Consent Letter, this sets out the contract of participating. I would be grateful if you would read, sign and return this at your earliest opportunity.

At any point before, during or after you research interview you may withdraw your participation from the study

HM Prison Service:
The National Research Committee at Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) have granted permission for me to conduct this research. The research is not being undertaken for HMPPS and you may decline to take part without prejudice.
The research has been approved by The Minster Centre Ethics Committee.

Thank you