Understanding the offender- psychological formulation

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What do forensic psychologists do when working with an offender?
They asses the offender and look at certain triggers or past life events to help put in place an appropriate intervention
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What is the psychological formulation?
A formulation which helps understand why an offender commits a crime and core problems, it summarises how the difficulties may relate to each other and how they are maintained, aims to explain issues to indicate towards an appropriate intervention
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What is the aim of a psychological formulation?
To try and assess the causes of the individual's criminal behaviour using psychological theories to identify the risk of reoffending and to suggest appropriate treatments
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What information does the psychologist gather from the offender?
Early experiences (how childhood affects behaviour, e.g. abuse), Core beliefs (what are their personal values, e.g. dont want to be vulnerable), triggers (e.g. someone being aggressive), The crime & thoughts feelings behaviour and physical symptoms
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Explain the thoughts, feelings, behaviour and physical symptoms part of the formula, why is this needed?
Its to build a bigger picture of what was going on in the individual at the time of the crime, e.g. thoughts- how dare he be aggressive, feelings- anger, Behaviour- shouting, fighting, Physical symptoms- tense, fast heartrate, these all link together
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How does the psychological formula take into account individual differences?
It is very personal and relates to just that individual, used to understand the function of the offending behaviour for that particular individual and how the behaviour works for the individual
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Strengths
Simplifies it to help offender understand their behaviour and help them manage the future, important in making the first steps to recovery, makes it easy to explain to other professionals
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Weaknesses
Can be difficult to obtain all information from individual & self report data can be unreliable (social desirability bias etc), ethics of reductionism- oversimplifying and underestimating the impact of events that lead to offender offending
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What is the psychological formulation?

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A formulation which helps understand why an offender commits a crime and core problems, it summarises how the difficulties may relate to each other and how they are maintained, aims to explain issues to indicate towards an appropriate intervention

Card 3

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What is the aim of a psychological formulation?

Back

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Card 4

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What information does the psychologist gather from the offender?

Back

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Card 5

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Explain the thoughts, feelings, behaviour and physical symptoms part of the formula, why is this needed?

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