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Working with offender populations: A framework for effective engagement and counselling

Cath Powell

In providing counselling to offender populations, cognitive-behaviour therapy (CBT) is the model of choice, given the focus is on behaviour change and social skill development. Recent developments have incorporated mindfulness into a CBT framework, to raise awareness of what is occurring in the present moment by intentionally attending to and changing the relationship with, thoughts, feelings and sensations via non-judgmental observation.

For many practitioners, the key issue in working with this cohort lies with the decision about where to sit on the continuum between rehabilitation and criminal justice goalhile general counselling practices make the clients' wellness the focus of the treatment process, within the forensic counselling sphere, the key goal in the treatment process becomes the protection of society and the client's treatment goals must be pursued within this context.

PACFA Biennial Conference 2012
Effectiveness, What works?
Recorded: 27-28 October 2012, Melbourne, Vic, Australia
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Cath Powell
Cath Powell
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Cath Powell

Cath Powell (BSW, MSW, PhD Crim. Candidate, MAASW) has over 17 years’ experience working in the youth justice system. In 2003, Cath received Robin Clark Memorial Award from the Department of Human Services for outstanding service in making a difference with children, young people and families. In her private practice, Cath provides psychosocial services to adults and young people either in, or at risk of entering, the criminal justice system as well as their families and support services.

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