1 Project Aims
This project aims to develop the use of phototherapy within EU prisons in promoting the emotional learning of prisoners. Phototherapy is considered a cost-effective method, allowing fast access to clients concerns; a method in which staff can be trained in a sustainable manner. Phototherapy seems particularly suitable to be used in this context as it provides a unique means of expression for those who are rarely given a voice, overcoming cultural and language barriers.
2 Identified Needs – Management of Emotions in Prison Samples
Over 20% of prisoners in a UK sample experienced mental illness and emotional problems (Ministry of Justice, 2010) and often abused drugs and/or alcohol to manage their emotions (Bosteder & Hargrave, 2008). In Malta, 41% of prisoners are thought to abuse drugs, and large numbers experience mental health issues. Further, despite the relatively low number of offenders in Finnish prisons, we find high rates of reoffending and suicide (Joukamma, 1997) and a very limited range of activities within prison that provide an opportunity for emotional learning. Opportunities for emotional learning and psychological intervention in Italian and Greek prisoners are particularly limited and sporadic. Romanian prisons also face difficulties, in particular with the management of anger and violence in custody compounded by the fact that the Romanian penitentiary system has little experience in the use of therapies.
3 Gaps in Provisions for Therapeutic Intervention with Prisoner’s Emotional Learning
Despite a focus on cognitive intelligence in prisons, psychologists have brought to attention the importance of alternative areas of learning and intelligence such as that of emotional learning in prisoners’ adjustment, utilisation of skills and integration into society; and, an important gap has been identified with regard to the provision of ‘emotional learning’ opportunities in prisons in the EU.
4 Identified Needs – Emotional Intelligence, Emotional Learning and Prisoners
‘Emotional Intelligence’ (EI) denotes the process involved in recognising, using, understanding and managing the emotional state of one’s self and others in regulating behaviour and navigating problems of an emotional nature (Mayer & Salovey, 1997; Salovey & Mayer, 1990). Emotional learning, a process through which a person may develop emotional intelligence, may involve gaining the capacity or skills to notice, convey, assimilate and regulate one’s own and others’ emotions in thought (Mayer et al. 2000). There is also evidence to suggest that emotional intelligence may be a factor in criminal behaviour (Santesso et al., 2006). Gaum et al. (2006) have suggested that successful rehabilitation of offenders relies on the effective learning of the regulation and enhancement of emotion management skills. This is particularly relevant to current policy both with regard to decreasing re-offending rates (Ministry of Justice, 2010)
5 Increasing Emotional Intelligence – Potential Benefits for Prisoners and Society
According to Kravitz and Schubert (2010), the following are potential indicators of emotional intelligence:
Self-Awareness: Those considered emotionally intelligent show awareness of their feelings, their motivations and demotivaions, and their effect on others.
Social Skills: Those considered emotionally intelligent are adept at communicating and relating to others by listening attentively and adapting their communication style to the needs of others by showing compassion.
Optimism: Those considered emotionally intelligent show positivity and optimism, with attitudes that stimulate a desire to work consistently towards goals even during setbacks.
Emotional Control: Those considered emotionally intelligent handle stress evenly, and are able to remain in situations which may be stressful, for instance during change or conflict.
Flexibility: Those considered emotionally intelligent are able to adapt to change by developing options by using problem-solving techniques.
6 Measures of Emotional Intelligence
Emotional Intelligence can be measured in several ways. The Mayer-Salovey-CarusoEmotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT), designed for adults over 17, aims to measure emotional intelligence by asking questions based on objective and impersonal daily scenarios. In this way, the MSCEIT establishes how people perform in solving emotional problems through eight task-level scores, rather than relying on participants’ subjective assessments.
The Bar-On model (Bar-On, 2006) measures emotional-social intelligence by exploring the range of interconnected emotional and social skills through an Emotional Quotient Inventory.
Goleman’s (1998) model measures emotional intelligence through the Emotional Competency Inventory (ECI), the Emotional Intelligence Appraisal(EIA) and the Work Profile Questionnaire-Emotional Intelligence Version (WPQei) The Emotional Intelligence Appraisal was developed from an intuitive and user-friendly skill-based model based on four skills that connect what one sees and what one does with their emotion in the presence of others.. Along with an overall emotional quotient score, the EIA also measures self-awareness, self-management, social awareness and relationship management. The WPQei, on the other hand, measures emotional intelligence within a work context through a series of 84 questions. It is believed that this is an effective tool for training and team building.
7 Using Photographs in Therapeutic Intervention
Within the therapeutic disciplines phototherapy and therapeutic photography are not completely separate entities. The two practices can be considered to involve making use of the “emotional-communication qualities of photographs and people's interactions with them” (Weiser, 2004:1), to enable clients to speak of difficulties they experience (Weiser, 1999, 2001). Phototherapy and therapeutic photography were mainly developed in the 1980s and 1990s but there seems to be a resurgence of interest in phototherapy and therapeutic photography (Loewenthal, 2011; Weiser, 2000). This revival may be spurred by the advent of camera phones and increasingly inexpensive digital cameras, along with the availability of the internet enabling easy access to images on social networking sites such as Facebook and YouTube.
Phototherapy can be seen as the use of photographs to enable clients’ expression of their concerns (Krauss & Fryrear, 1983; Weiser, 2002). One way of seeing ‘phototherapy’ is the use of photographs in what is normally practiced as psychotherapy and counselling, but where the client chooses, either in a one-to-one or group situation, a photograph that calls to them as a way of eliciting what is on their mind. ‘Therapeutic photography’ on the other hand often involves the client actually taking photographs as a way of working through an emotional constriction (Martin & Spence, 1987, 1988; Spence, 1986). In this project, the term ‘phototherapy’ was initially used to cover any therapeutic use of photographs. Indeed, the distinctions between phototherapy and therapeutic photography are not always clear, and some practitioners use the methods interchangeably within their practice. Throughout this project, the term ‘phototherapy’ is used in a very broad sense. What is vitally important is that what people call their practice is regulated differently in different countries and that anyone considering the approaches through the project ‘PhototherapyEurope in Prisons’ must check what is permissible in their particular country where they practice.
Following Freud’s belief that “the essence of repression lies simply in turning something away and keeping it at a distance from the conscious” (1915:147), it is argued here that photographs are potentially an avenue by which the unconscious mind can be accessed in order to explore repressions (those memories, thoughts and desires that may be too difficult to accept into consciousness). Weiser (2001) holds a similar view in discussing methods in which subjects use photographs as a basis upon which to project their interpretations and meanings of their world.
When incorporated into therapy, photographs have been reported to be effective at facilitating improvements with impulse control, social skills, and self-esteem (Cosden & Reynolds, 1982). Comfort (1985) introduced clients to the value of visual language as a foundation for imagery communication between the client and the therapist.
8 Methodologies and Products
Arising from the literature review, four approaches regarding the therapeutic use of photographs (photocards, photobooks, photovoice/employability, and portraiture) will be piloted across all seven partners in six countries. As a consequence, a website, training manuals, and photocards will be developed. These will be further disseminated through presentations and cascading in the six countries, a conference in London and training programmes run by each of the seven partners.