Reflecting Dialogues in a Norwegian Prison: A Qualitative Study
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionJournal of Family Psychotherapy. 2017, 28 (4), 333-349. 10.1080/08975353.2017.1301157
Reflecting Dialogues have been used in a high-security prison in Trondheim, Norway since 2004, offering conversations on the inmates’ own terms. Important elements in Reflecting Dialogues are attentively listening and reflecting on what is being said, in order to open up for new meaning and understanding. In this study, prisoners, released prisoners, and prison staff are interviewed about their experiences with Reflecting Dialogues. Applying Reflecting Dialogues in prisons seems to cover a need that many prisoners have; to be able to talk freely about their feelings and thoughts, which build up easily during imprisonment. We find that Reflecting Dialogues can contribute to reducing the level of conflict, and subsequently create a better prison environment. The prisoners express that they are more at ease, more in contact with their own needs, and find it easier to communicate with other people.