Authors: Daniel Lawrence, Priory Group, Priory Healthcare and Department of Applied Psychology, Cardiff Metropolitan University, Cardiff, UK.



Emerging research indicates that Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT) can be beneficial for individuals with Intellectual Disabilities (ID) and for those who use forensic services. Its use with people who have diagnoses of IDs and who use forensic mental health inpatient services is yet to be explored empirically. The current study aimed to address this gap in the literature by using a single-case study design to evaluate a CFT approach to treatment with a man detained in a UK medium secure service, with a history of problems associated with mild ID, psychosis and risk behaviours towards himself and others. Treatment was provided over 15 individual sessions, following which significant improvements were observed on measures of self-compassion, psychological distress, and social comparison. Differences were maintained at 16-week follow-up. Qualitative data revealed that the participant found CFT to be beneficial and it helped him manage his emotions and the way in which he related to himself and others, as well as giving him hope for the future. The findings suggest that CFT may be a suitable and helpful approach to the treatment of people with IDs who use forensic mental health inpatient services, but further, more robust research, is required to confirm this.

Keywords: Compassion; CFT; Forensic; Case Study; Intellectual Disability; Psychosis.

Vol 3, Issue 2, October 2022