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Helen O’Connor Forensic Psychologist in Training HMP Whatton.

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Presentation on theme: "Helen O’Connor Forensic Psychologist in Training HMP Whatton."— Presentation transcript:

1 Helen O’Connor Forensic Psychologist in Training HMP Whatton

2  I am no expert!! (Sorry!)  Learned British Sign Language  Started working with deaf offenders April 2012

3  You may never have come across a deaf offender in your services...  But, 1 in 6 of the UK population (about 10 million people) are deaf or hearing impaired.  So odds are you will sooner or later, whether in custody or ‘on the out’.

4  Different types of deafness – profoundly deaf, deafened, hard of hearing  Different types of communication – British Sign Language (BSL), Sign Supported English (SSE), lip reading.  0M0 0M0

5  Four group members instead of usual 8/9.  Three experienced facilitators with BSL qualifications (rota basis).  Four non-facilitator professional BSL interpreters (rota basis).  Three sessions a week instead of 4/5.  Manual – piloting the new Becoming New Me programme (combines BNM and Adapted Better Lives Booster).

6  It might take a bit longer than a hearing group.  It’ll be fine, just deliver as normal but with translators because they will need to sign.  They’re not Intellectually Disabled so will be able to read at least if there are tricky bits.  I’ll really enjoy this experience!

7  Pictorial basis – visual like their language.  Lots of role-play, walk & talk...  More concrete, less abstract concepts than core SOTP.  Display drawings around the room –visual memory prompts.  Processing speed.  Limited vocabulary needed.  New manual combines BNM and booster.

8  Deaf awareness, deaf culture.  Experienced in BNM programme – flexible, adapting material further, responsive.  Signing at times – build rapport, therapeutic alliance.  Knowing what’s lost in translation....“that’s a really interesting point and I’m glad you’ve raised it. We’ll be talking about that later in the session so hold onto it so we can discuss it more when we get to that part of session”  Socratic vs. direct.

9  Turn-taking difficulties.  Inexperienced in group environment.  Lack of knowledge about programmes, the prison regime, probation....  Talk about themselves – a lot!  Discrimination – deaf vs. hearing.  Being succinct – does not exist!  Will not challenge each other.

10  Qualified – lots claim to be but aren’t (level 6)  Boundaries – who’s asking the question.  Need to prepare sessions together.  Discuss aims – so not misinterpreted/set up wrong.  Work as team – they are not just your translators. Interact during session and discuss how to translate a concept.  Debrief after session together.  Wealth of knowledge – treatment needs vs. deaf culture, popular culture, abstract vs. concrete, rote learning without understanding the concept underneath.

11  Concepts are too abstract – but if you give examples they rigidly stick to them.  Balance between socratics & directness.  Recording their work – cannot/not confident to write in English, doesn't mean they want to draw either.  Some things do not translate – they do not recognise these words.  Some signs are based on English concepts – requires knowledge of hearing world which they may not have.

12  Offence accounts – there are only four group members.  In focus twice a week, little consolidation/thinking time, see little shift, draining for group and facilitators by revisiting so often, don’t get to see 7/8 other good examples only 3, don't see a variety of different stages of responsibility taking & shift.  All child offenders in this group – no challenging from each other.  Feelings – don't have the vocabulary/signs for them. Very restricted to angry, sad, happy.

13  Empathy - Don’t really understand it so appear self centred.  Staying focussed – because you get ‘chapter & verse’ its hard to keep them focussed – use a lot of time lines and walk & talk.  Rewording – manual is too English based for deaf offenders, lots of rewording.  I.e. risk areas ‘sexual preference for children’ becomes ‘fancy children’.  ‘Sexual preoccupation’ = ‘think sex, sex, sex’.  ‘Preferring sex to include violence or force’ = ‘sexy hit, punch, kick, hold’  There is no sign for violence as an all encompassing term – individual actions have to used. There is a sign for prefer but our group did not understand it.

14  Very slow – wait for them to sign, then interpreted, you process, you answer, that’s interpreted, they process, they sign, that’s interpreted....  Deskilled & lose power by going through interpreter – you don’t know if its being translated right.  Your carefully selected words for ultimate impact – lost in translation!  Power of socratics/cognitive dissonance – lost in translation!

15  Resilience – reduces dramatically!  Lack of empathy + apparent lack of remorse (because so direct) + feeling powerless to modify entrenched beliefs = hardest group!  Graphic descriptions of offence, signs for sexual acts, their language/lip patterns.  Facilitators miss having the level of rapport you can build with a hearing group.  Rudeness – deaf people can appear rude due to their directness.

16  Preoccupied with their problems – no other arena to discuss so bring it to group, everyday!  Lose of genuine empathy – going through interpreter reduces rapport & adds distance – this impacts on empathy levels.  Stimulus overload

17  What is she saying?  Is that what she really means?  Has she understood what we’re asking?  Do we need to do a demonstration/example?  How does this relate to risk?  Does she understand how it relates to risk?

18  Get to be VERY creative!  Artistic licence - Fun!  Learn to think on your feet – less abstract.  Knowing you’re helping people access treatment who wouldn’t otherwise.  Ground breaking.  Learn to manage difficult group dynamics.  New communication skills.  Skills at working with interpreters.

19  Same interpreter & facilitator group.  If not, deaf awareness training.  Selection criteria.  Assessments.  Session style.  Programme changes.  Time & resources.  Evaluation – due February 2013.

20  Please contact me for any further information. 


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