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The Experiences of Staff Taking on the Role of Lay Therapist in a Group-Based Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Anger Management Intervention for People with Intellectual Disabilities

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Abstract

Aim

To explore the experience of ‘lay therapists’ of a group-based cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) anger management intervention.

Background

Staff employed in daytime opportunity services for adults with intellectual disabilities took on the role of ‘lay therapist’ to facilitate CBT groups.

Methods

They were trained and supervised by clinical psychologists and interviewed 2–6 weeks after the last group session. Their experiences were explored by means of a qualitative approach, interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA).

Results

Several key themes emerged from the interview data such as ‘hopes and fears’, ‘having a framework’, ‘making it work’, ‘observing progress’, ‘ingredients of success’, ‘the therapist role’ and ‘taking the group forward’.

Conclusions

These themes indicate that participants' experiences had been perceived as positive for themselves, the service users as well as the relevant organization although initially the therapist role had appeared daunting.

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