SEX OFFENDER TREATMENT
Sex offender treatment is different than other therapies for adults. Sex offender treatment is a serious and encouraging process which focuses on learning specialized strategies for stopping abusive behavior, being accountable and taking responsibility for harm done.
For the vast majority of those adults and juveniles who have committed a sexual offense, treatment significantly reduces the future risk of repeat offenses. Treatment does not offer amnesty or excuse abusive acts, nor is it intended to punish or humiliate participants. A central focus of treatment is to help an individual create a better life for him/herself by developing their strengths while managing risk.
What are the benefits of treatment?
Ø The burden of keeping the secret of this disturbing problem can be lifted.
Ø The cycle of broken promises to oneself that “it will never happen again” can finally end.
Ø The abusive behavior can stop, and support is available to rebuild a safer life.
Ø There can be support from peers in treatment to help the offending or at-risk offender stay safe.
Ø Treatment allows the process of recovery to begin.
What are the goals of treatment?
Specialized treatment concentrates on effective behavior management to ensure safety for the individual and for the community. A central focus of treatment is to help an individual create a better life for him/herself by developing their strengths while managing risk. Participants address personal accountability, relapse prevention, and possible aid to victims.
Ø Identify his/her own specific risk factors and develop a personalized plan for preventing abuse in the future.
Ø Recognize and decrease the use of manipulative behavior patterns.
Ø Address denial and accept full responsibility for his/her harmful behaviors, past and present.
Ø Understand the impact of harmful behaviors on self and others.
Ø Develop healthy sexual attitudes and behaviors.
Ø Explore the impact of one’s own childhood victimization if and when appropriate.
We offer an approach to rehabilitation which takes into account the existing strengths and resources of each participant. Ideally those who have offended can learn to replace the harmful ways in which they have met their needs in the past, with safer ways to meet these needs in the future.
Who can attend treatment?
Someone can make an appointment for treatment if they have sexually harmed someone else, or if they believe they are at risk to do so. Treatment is available for male and female adults and juveniles. There are also specialized therapies for children with sexual behavior problems. Typically the approaches to treatment for adolescents and younger children differ from those used with adults.
Often treatment providers or specialized therapists will first do an individual evaluation to help determine the usefulness of treatment and the most effective approaches to use. Many people are court ordered to sexual offender treatment but others may choose to go on their own. Treatment plans may include group/individual therapy, couples therapy, family therapy, polygraph (lie detector test), specialized testing and/or prescribed medications.
Is what I discuss confidential?
What an individual tells his or her therapist is confidential; however, there are certain circumstances when a therapist must break that promise of confidentiality. Laws in all 50 states require a therapist to contact authorities if a patient is a danger to him/herself, to others, and/or if the therapist suspects that a known child has been abused.
These reporting laws, as they are applied in your state, are explained to all adults and to guardians of children who seek professional counseling for any reason. Understanding this limitation to the confidentiality offered in sex-specific treatment is important, and applies to anyone seeking medical care or mental health services.
How long does treatment last?
The duration of the program varies depending on the progress the person in treatment makes. Treatment is not complete until the person changes his or her behavior and makes safe and healthy decisions. For those who are mandated to attend treatment, a timeframe for treatment may be established as part of that requirement. For some, relapse prevention is a lifelong program.
What is the cost of treatment?
The cost varies. Some private insurance is accepted. Sometimes grant or other assistance is available to help pay for treatment. Other times participants must pay cash. Speak directly with your provider about payment options when setting up your initial or “intake” appointment.