Edith Cowan University
The Drug Court of Western Australia provides treatment and diversionary options to offenders whose addiction to drugs and/or alcohol has played a part in their offending. There are concerns regarding the potential impacts on the therapeutic relationship when counselling a court-referred client and whether or not court-mandated counselling is effective in assisting clients to address their drug use and offending behaviour. Ten counsellors of drug court referred clients were interviewed to identify the counsellors’ perceptions of drug court referred clients and the potential impact on the therapeutic relationship and effectiveness of counselling. Semi-structured interviews were analysed using thematic content analysis to identify common themes among the data. The research findings will provide a better understanding of the issues facing counsellors of drug court referred clients and may identify the need for further training and development within treatment providers and the drug court.