Northamptonshire prison in reach service

ContactDr Sunil Lad, Principal Counselling Psychologist
AddressHMP Gartree, Gallow Field Road, Market Harborough, Leicestershire, LE16 7RD

Northamptonshire prison in reach serviceThis service working across several prisons in Northhampton and Leicester provides psychological therapy for those prisoners that are in distress.

Prisoners suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) are identified and individuals are offered evidence based therapy, namely Cognitive Behaviour Therapy to overcome these difficulties.


There have been a number of research studies that have found that some individuals in prison for a serious violence offence can experience PTSD in relation to these types of experiences.

Due to a number of individuals reporting distress and difficulty in this area and due to the nature of PTSD leading to avoidance symptoms it was felt that there was a need to intervene and offer therapeutic interventions so that individuals who may be displaying avoidance symptoms have tools to manage so that they can complete work to develop insight into their offending behaviour, which they may try to avoid.

The change introduced and how this was done

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy was offered for these types of problems for individuals who were motivated to engage in psychological therapy.


A Counselling Psychologist based within a mental health In Reach Team to provide Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and other evidence based therapies in a prison setting.


This approach has been used with a number of prisoners with PTSD symptoms for a range of problems which have been offence specific or non specific or had an overlap with their offending.

The outcome referenced below focuses on one individual with a specific type of PTSD who gave permission for his story to be used as a case study example. The level of distress decreased and the individual developed insight and understanding into why he had developed these symptoms. Nightmares, flashbacks and other PTSD symptoms had stopped following 21 sessions of therapy, this was followed up six months after therapy had ended and the changes had been sustained.

Future plans

Further screening for individuals with these types of problems by working closely with the Forensic Psychologists in prisons, training through understanding how these problems may present in a prison environment and through conducting research and evaluation of these types of interventions (Lad, 2013).


Lad, S. (2013) A case report of treatment of offence related PTSD. Journal of Forensic Psychiatry and Psychology. Vol 24 (6), p788-794. Published online 11 September 2013.