Using a visually adapted repertory grid technique (VARGT) with people who stalk

DOIhttps://doi.org/10.1108/JFP-10-2019-0048
Publication Date28 March 2020
Date28 March 2020
Pages109-121
AuthorRachael Wheatley,Belinda Winder,Daria J. Kuss
SubjectHealth & social care,Criminology & forensic psychology,Forensic practice,Sociology,Sociology of crime & law,Law enforcement/correctional,Public policy & environmental management,Policing,Criminal justice
Using a visually adapted repertory grid
technique (VARGT) with people who stalk
Rachael Wheatley, Belinda Winder and Daria J. Kuss
Abstract
Purpose This paper aims to provide instructions on how to implement an adapted version of the
standard repertorygrid technique (VARGT). The purpose of which isto provide practitioners with a tool,
which enables active engagement by participants in research and clinical practice. This tool has been
used effectivelywith people convicted of stalkingoffences.
Design/methodology/approach Repertory grids, developedfrom Kelly’s Personal Construct Theory
(1955), had never been used withthose who stalk, either clinically or in a research context. Visual and
kinaesthetic adaptationswere made to standard RGT procedures (Grice, 2002; Tan and Hunter, 2002),
for use in a mixed methods research study (Wheatley, 2019, p. 77) due to expected challenges in
engaging with this group. This manuscript presents theoretical underpinnings and step-by-step
instructionsfor practical application.
Findings The VARGT is easyto administer and produces rich data, in both qualitativeand quantitative
formats. This adapted approach encourages active participation and an interpreted therapeutic
collaboration(Wheatley et al., 2020).
Practical implications This novel technique has engaged men convicted of stalking offences
collaboratively in researchactivities and showed potential for its use as a clinicaltool. This instructional
technicalpaper allows the technique to be replicated.
Originality/value This novel technique has engaged men convicted of stalking offences
collaboratively in researchactivities and showed potential for its use as a clinicaltool. This instructional
technicalpaper allows the technique to be replicated.
Keywords Mixed methods, Stalking, Adapted repertory grids,Repertory grids, Stalking offenders, Stalkers
Paper type Technical paper
Introduction
This manuscript provides a detailed description of the visual and kinaesthetic adaptations
made to the standard repertory grid technique (RGT: Winter, 2003). It outlines how to
administer the visually adapted repertory grid technique (VARGT) referencing the
originating mixed methods research study for greater context. It describes the VARGT
procedures, incorporating transcript examples, and provides participant and practitioner-
researcher observations to support a case for its utility as meaningful research and clinical
engagement tool. It establishes the novel use of the VARGT as a robust research tool and
introduces its value as an engagement-enhancing technique. This manuscript constitutes a
complete instructional and replicable guide to the administration of the VARGT, intending to
allow further examination of its utility across client groups. This manuscript herein refers to
practitioners for brevity,intended to incorporate both researchers and clinicians.
The repertory grid technique
The original technique generally consists of a practitioner-ledinterview and unilateral paper-
based exercise. The practitioner records the participant’s rating of elements against
Rachael Wheatley is based
at HMPPS Psychology
Services, Midlands region,
London, UK.
Belinda Winder and
Daria J. Kuss are both
based at School of Social
Sciences, Nottingham Trent
University, Nottingham, UK.
Received 29 October 2019
Revised 31 January 2020
Accepted 5 February 2020
DOI 10.1108/JFP-10-2019-0048 VOL. 22 NO. 2 2020, pp. 109-121, ©Emerald Publishing Limited, ISSN 2050-8794 jTHE JOURNAL OF FORENSIC PRACTICE jPAGE 109

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