Reading in Secure Settings

Nick Benefield and Kathryn Naylor interviewed by Fiona Magee
  • Nick BenefieldEmail author
  • Kathryn Naylor
  • Fiona Magee


This chapter offers two complementary perspectives on the practice of shared group reading in two distinctive secure contexts. Psychotherapist and policy-maker, Nick Benefield, former lead of the National Personality Disorder Team, recounts his successful introduction of Shared Reading groups within the criminal justice system—specifically as part of the environmental model of living, management and care known as PIPES, Psychologically Informed Planned Environments. Kathryn Naylor, a forensic psychiatrist at Ashworth (high-secure) Hospital, talks of her experience of running a Shared Reading group with patients who, because of what they have ‘missed’ or ‘lost’, present a grave danger to themselves or others. She speaks of reading’s special power to help patients find what ‘they do still have’ as an alternative to habitual self-harm as a reflex of inarticulate pain.


Prisons Psychologically Informed Planned Environments (PIPES) Secure hospital Self-harm Shared Reading 

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Advisor to Offender Personality Disorder Pathway, NHS EnglandLeedsUK
  2. 2.Mersey Care NHS Mental Health TrustLiverpoolUK

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