Restorative Theory in Practice: Insights Into What Works and Why

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Belinda Hopkins

Restorative Theory in Practice
248 pages
ISBN: 9781849054683

Restorative practice is an innovative approach to thinking about, and addressing, conflict and bullying, as well as disruptive, challenging and criminal behaviour. The approach is increasingly used to transform the culture of organisations, institutions and services and the way people communicate with one another.

In this book, ten practitioners describe a restorative encounter as seen through the lens of their own theoretical model. The book's unique structure is modelled on a restorative practice known as Circle Time- comprising of a Check-in, a Main Activity, and a Check-out. In the Check-in the practitioner explains how their own theoretical model informs their practice; in the Main Activity they comment on the same case studies to highlight how each theory can deepen our understanding of what might be happening and why; and in the Check-out they reflect on what they have learned from reading each other's contributions. This is a unique exemplar of how restorative theory and practice can influence how practitioners think, learn and write about restorative practice.

This will be an invaluable resource for restorative practitioners working across sectors including education, social services, youth offending or policy.

Table of Contents


Introductory Check-in.

  1. Affect and Script Psychology - Restorative Practice, Biology and a Theory of Human Motivation, Marg Thorsborne, Managing Director of Margaret Thorsborne and Associates (Queensland and London), Australia.
  2. Attribution Theory, Juliet Starbuck, Chartered Educational Psychologist, Connect to Change Ltd and University College London, UK.
  3. Critical Relational Theory, Dorothy Vaandering, Memorial University, St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada.
  4. Depth Psychology and the Psychology of Conflict, Ann Shearer, Jungian Analyst, UK.
  5. Nonviolent Commmunication, Shona Cameron, Educational Psychologist, Falkirk Council, UK.
  6. Personal Construct Approaches, Pam Denicolo, University of Reading, Emeritus Professor, University of Surrey, Consultant Professor on Doctoral Education, UK.
  7. Towards a Relational Theory of Restorative Justice, Mark Vander Vennen, Shalem Mental Health Network, Canada.
  8. Resonant Empathy, Pete Wallis, Senior Practitioner (Restorative Justice), Oxfordshire Youth Justice Service, UK.
  9. A Social Constructionist Approach to Restorative Conferencing, Wendy Drewery, Faculty of Education, University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand.
  10. Transactional Analysis, Mo Felton, UKCP Registered Transactional Analyst Psychotherapist, Trainer and Supervisor and UKATA Registered Psychotherapist Trainer and Supervisor, UK.
  11. Ten Different Ways to Approach a Restorative Encounter, Belinda Hopkins, Founder and Director of Transforming Conflict, UK.

Closing Check-out.

"It has been said that restorative justice is a practice in search of a theory. Thanks to Belinda Hopkins we now have ten theories succinctly outlined and applied to restorative practices. Practitioners, academics and students who want to analyse and deconstruct ideas that support restorative justice will find that this book will be an invaluable resource for many years."
- Tim Chapman, Course Director, Ulster University Masters in Restorative Practices

"In this book, Belinda Hopkins has brought together an important set of contributions in this maturing field of enquiry. It is no mean feat to structure a book in a way that reflects the restorative principles and process itself, but in doing so, she has successfully opened up space for debates on key issues from a range of significant perspectives. This thought provoking book will be helpful to practitioners, trainers and students alike."
- Dr Gillean McCluskey, Head of Institute for Education, Community & Society, University of Edinburgh

"This new book is a valuable addition to the literature around restorative practice. Bringing together a range of contributors with experience of delivering restorative practice, and innovatively structured based around a restorative process, it examines restorative encounters from different perspectives and explores the ways in which successful outcomes may be achieved. Clear, accessible and interesting, this book is well worth reading for anybody interested in restorative practice."
- Jon Collins, Chief Executive Officer, Restorative Justice Council, UK