Psychology Division Seminar Series
From Christian Perrin and William Van Gordon
The Division of Psychology in the School of Social Sciences holds a regular weekly seminar series over the academic year to invite excellent internal and external speakers to present their research findings.
- From: Wednesday 25 November 2015, 4 pm
- To: Wednesday 25 November 2015, 5 pm
- Location: Chaucer 3001 (LT1), Chaucer building, Nottingham Trent University, City Campus, Goldsmith Street, Nottingham, NG1 5LT
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The Division of Psychology in the School of Social Sciences holds a regular weekly seminar series over the academic year to invite excellent internal and external speakers to present their research findings. This is an integral part of our research culture in the Division which stimulates psychological thinking and debate, and informs about current developments in the various subfields of Psychology.
This week's seminar will be from NTU's Christian Perrin and William Van Gordon. Christian Perrin will be presenting 'It's reaffirmed that I'm not a monster': How Sex Offenders re-story their lives via peer-support roles in prison and William Van Gordon will be giving his talk on Second-generation Mindfulness-based Interventions.
'It's reaffirmed that I'm not a monster': How Sex Offenders re-story their lives via peer-support roles in prison
Abstract: Several peer-support schemes are currently operating in UK prisons. Via these schemes, prisoners are able to access support for issues ranging from emotional distress and addiction problems to practical and educational needs. Such schemes are built upon principles of mutual reciprocity, empathy, and emotional support. Although these schemes have existed in prisons for decades, research focussing on those who uphold peer-support roles is very scarce.
Such research focussing on a sex offender sample only is non-existent. A deeper understanding of how adopting a peer-support role in prison may affect sex offenders’ attitudes, beliefs, emotions, and experiences of imprisonment is needed. In the present study, 14 sex-offenders volunteering as prison ‘Listeners’, ‘Insiders’, and ‘Toe-by-Toe’ mentors in a UK prison participated in semi-structured interviews. Transcripts were analysed using interpretative phenomenological analysis. Analysis revealed four super-ordinate themes (‘stepping stones’, ‘eclipsing demons’, ‘keeping sane’, and ‘stumbling blocks’) which were unpacked through an analytical commentary.
Results suggest that prisoners who adopt peer-support roles experience profound internal changes and complete attitude shifts, many of which have been theoretically linked with better reintegration outcomes. Furthermore, peer-support roles appear to help prisoners cope with the realities of imprisonment, principally through instilling meaning, purpose, and perspective. Suggestions regarding how such schemes might be utilised in the future will be discussed.
Goals of the talk:
- To provide a brief account of the history of peer-support and its application in UK prisons.
- To demonstrate a theoretical underpinning of peer-support, and explain why this underpinning may be constructive for use in sex offender treatment environments.
- To present qualitative data highlighting the experiences of incarcerated sex offenders who uphold peer-support roles.
Second-generation Mindfulness-based Interventions
A growing number of researchers, scholars and Buddhist teachers have asserted that mindfulness has been ‘despiritualised’ to such an extent in its current clinical form, that it is misleading to utilise the term ‘mindfulness’ to refer to the resulting construct. To overcome this issue, a second-generation of mindfulness-based interventions have been formulated and empirically investigated. Although second-generation mindfulness-based interventions are overtly spiritual in aspect, they are secular in nature and thus suitable for use in applied psychological settings. The talk will examine the theoretical and operational differences between first- and second-generation mindfulness-based interventions. The talk will then overview findings from a number of recent empirical studies conducted at Nottingham Trent University using a second-generation mindfulness-based intervention known as Meditation Awareness Training. Finally, future directions for Meditation Awareness Training, and for mindfulness research and practice more generally, will be discussed.
If you are an NTU student or staff member you do not need to book your place prior to attending this event.
Should you be external to the University and wish to listen to one of our speakers, please inform the Research Seminars Coordinator Dr Andrew Dunn via email prior to the event you wish to attend.