While in the minority, forensic carers who had experienced behavioural family therapy appreciated this and saw beneficial changes in their relative and subsequent relations with themselves. This has been especially helpful in terms of coping with stress in their relationship and communicating about feelings.
Beforehand, there had been some anxiety about taking part. A major component of this form of intervention is psycho-education, which can be conceived of in terms of information exchange. Yet, carers seldom reported experiences of receiving information in this way.
Others identified that they would have appreciated the offer of more simple counselling for themselves to help cope with the feelings of loss, guilt, denial or shock and anguish at the events leading up to admission to secure services. Similarly, some carers spoke of feeling like ‘victims’ of the index offence, even if they were not first-hand victims of a violent incident.
Yet they were seldom treated as eligible for victim support or counselling at this time. Others spoke of the longevity of emotional needs, mirroring the length of stay of their relative, and changing in character over time. A general need for emotional support for carers was seldom considered or offered by services