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Healing trauma in a traumatising environment with young adult men

  • Laura E. McMinn1,*,
  • Geraldine Akerman1
  • Eileen Gaffney2

1Barnet Enfield and Haringey NHS Mental Health Trust, N15 3TH London, UK

2HM Prison & Probation Service, SW1H 9AJ London, UK

DOI: 10.22514/jomh.2024.016 Vol.20,Issue 1,January 2024 pp.120-126

Submitted: 03 August 2023 Accepted: 17 October 2023

Published: 30 January 2024

*Corresponding Author(s): Laura E. McMinn E-mail:


In this article, the authors outline the interventions offered by the Offender Personality Disorder (OPD) Pathways Complex Needs Service (PCNS) in a Young Offenders Institute and Category C men’s prison for addressing trauma with young adult men within the prison environment and highlight the challenges of trauma-informed practice and interventions within this context. The importance of collaborative work with the young men will be emphasised within the development of clinical formulations and responsive treatment plans. Direct and non-direct trauma therapies offered by the PCNS will be outlined (e.g., Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy, sensory approaches). The article will emphasise the importance of adopting a multidisciplinary and system-wide approach to healing trauma, and the crucial role of the PCNS prison officers. The various clinical spaces available for staff to process traumatogenic material will be highlighted as key to maintaining staff wellbeing and resilience. A reflection from a prison officer working in the service will be provided. This article aims to highlight the importance of adopting a holistic and system-wide approach to healing trauma for young men in custody.


Trauma-informed practice; Trauma; Young offenders institute; Prison officer; Young offender; Offender personality disorder; OPD

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Laura E. McMinn,Geraldine Akerman,Eileen Gaffney. Healing trauma in a traumatising environment with young adult men. Journal of Men's Health. 2024. 20(1);120-126.


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