Rehabilitation Intervention in an Ice Hockey Context: What Changes under the Helmet

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*Rioux MA, Laurier C, Terradas M, Carrier M, Labonté M. (2020). Rehabilitation Intervention in an Ice Hockey Context: What Changes under the Helmet. Children and Youth Services Review, 118.


Most studies of sport-based interventions in rehabilitation settings with youth with disruptive behaviors look at their effects. To our knowledge, there are few studies of the processes by which these interventions allow participants to benefit from them. This article looks at the process of therapeutic change based on the subjective theories concept and is inspired by the significant events approach. The participants are five young people receiving services under the Youth Protection Act or the Youth Criminal Justice Act for adolescents who took part in a rehabilitative intervention in an ice hockey context. All of these young people have experienced early relational traumas. A semi-structured interview on the highlights of their participation was conducted at the end of the activity. A qualitative content analysis aimed at identifying psychological changes and an interpretative phenomenological analysis intended to explore their experience in the intervention revealed psychological changes and linked them to significant events. The results support the idea that psychological change is a singular process. In order to capture the clinical significance, the results were linked to Winnicott’s theoretical elaboration of the parent-child relationship in the context of early relational trauma.