The Fairy Tale Model: Secure Facility Therapist Perceptions

Ian Barron (Lead / Corresponding author), David Mitchell

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    5 Citations (Scopus)
    276 Downloads (Pure)


    The current exploratory qualitative study sought to investigate novice therapist experience of implementing a phased trauma recovery approach, the Fairy Tale Model (FTM), in secure accommodation in Scotland. Participants were ten therapists trained and supervised in FTM over a 6 month period. Therapists delivered FTM to 37 youth. Individual interviews with therapists were based on the objectives of FTM, and explored the benefits, challenges and facilitating factors for both youth and therapists. Perceived benefits for therapists included increases in trauma-informed knowledge, skills, and confidence. Youth were perceived by therapists, to be less emotionally dysregulated and more motivated, hopeful, and communicative. Challenges for therapists involved the complexity of youth difficulties, competing work demands, difficulties unlearning established approaches, and short duration placements. Prioritizing therapy, intensive sessions, and frequent communication with care staff were seen as facilitating factors. Recommendations are made for FTM delivery and more robust mixed methods evaluative research including therapist, youth and other stakeholder perspectives.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)257-267
    Number of pages11
    JournalJournal of Child and Adolescent Trauma
    Issue number2
    Early online date19 Jan 2018
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2019


    • Evaluative research
    • Incarcerated youth
    • Therapy
    • Trauma recovery

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Emergency Medicine
    • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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