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Perceived barriers and facilitators to positive therapeutic change for people with intellectual disabilities: client, carer and clinical psychologist perspectives

Studies have highlighted successful outcomes of psychological therapies for people with intellectual disabilities. However, processes underlying these outcomes are uncertain. Thematic analysis was used to explore the perceptions of three clinical psychologists, six clients and six carers of barriers and facilitators to therapeutic change for people with intellectual disabilities. Six themes were identified relating to: what the client brings as an individual and with regard to their wider system; therapy factors, including the therapeutic relationship and adaptations; psychologists acting as a ‘mental health GP’ to coordinate care; systemic dependency; and the concept of the revolving door in intellectual disability services. The influence of barriers and facilitators to change is complex, with facilitators overcoming barriers and yet simultaneously creating more barriers. Given their potential impact on the psychologists’ roles and access to therapy for people with intellectual disabilities, findings suggest these factors should be formulated as part of the therapeutic process.

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Additional Titles
Journal of Intellectual Disabilities

Key Information

Type of Reference
Jour
ISBN/ISSN
1744-6309;1744-6295
Resource Database
Social care online
Publication Year
2016
Issue Number
3
Volume Number
20
Start Page
241-262