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Understanding the Therapeutic Alliance in Young Offender Treatment through the Experiences of Male Youth Open Access


Other title
Young Offender Treatment
Therapeutic Alliance
Mental Health Treatment
Young Offenders
Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Schiller, Kristen A M
Supervisor and department
Dr. Derek Truscott - Department of Educational Psychology
Examining committee member and department
Dr. Diane Kunyk - Faculty of Nursing
Dr. William Whelton - Department of Educational Psychology
Dr. Carol Leroy - Department of Elementary Education
Department of Educational Psychology
Counselling Psychology
Date accepted
Graduation date
Master of Education
Degree level
Therapy with youth involved in the criminal justice system presents a variety of challenges. Especially challenging is the establishment of a therapeutic alliance, which psychotherapeutic research shows is a strong predictor in the success of therapy. The purpose of this study was therefore to investigate the therapeutic alliance in young offender rehabilitation. A qualitative approach was used and semi-structured interviews were conducted with four young offenders. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis yielded three major themes and the study concluded that building a therapeutic alliance within a young offender population is a complex process, but that youth have a stronger relationship with therapists who engage them using active therapeutic tasks, foster the establishment of an emotional bond, and collaborate on the progress of sessions. These results provide useful information for the development and improvement of young offender treatment.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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