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Motivation to change for men convicted of sexual offences

In 2015, a UK sex offender treatment prison collaborated with Nottingham Trent University to investigated the influence of gamelan courses with convicted sexual offenders, to ascertain if there were changes in participants in relation to readiness to change or motivation to engage with psychological treatment, and whether Good Vibrations added any additional value to the standard treatment.

This was the first known study to have particularly investigated the possibility of offering a music-related group intervention to improve prisoners’ readiness for treatment groups. 56 men took part overall. The study combined qualitative and quantitative research methods, including a matched control group.

The quantitative research found that offenders, without learning disabilities, had an increased desire to change their offending behaviour and engage in offence-specific treatment. And the qualitative research found that as a result of the intervention:

  • all participants felt more confident about working in a group, and improved their social skills and interpersonal relationships; and
  • the gamelan course contributed to participants’ emotional regulation and release, and positively influenced their emotional states, ability to de-stress and feel more relaxed.

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