Approach Versus Avoidance Goals in Relapse Prevention with Sexual Offenders

Approach Versus Avoidance Goals in Relapse Prevention with Sexual Offenders Relapse prevention (RP) plays a major role in the vast number of treatment programs for sexual offenders. However, despite its widespread application, questions have been raised regarding the uncritical adoption of the approach (R. K. Hanson, 1996). More specifically, the way in which it is presented to sexual offenders has been criticized for being unhelpfully negative in focus (Mann, 2000) and it has been suggested that treatment should adopt a broader focus on improving quality of life (T. Ward and C. A. Stewart, 2003), with the expectation that recidivism would reduce as a side-effect. The current study evaluated two orientations to relapse prevention, comparing a deliberately positively-focused orientation, focusing on creating a “good life,” to the more traditional approach that focuses on avoiding and controlling risk factors. Twenty-four participants completed an approach-focused RP intervention and 23 completed an avoidance-focused RP intervention. Results indicated that participants who completed the approach-focused intervention had a greater engagement in treatment as measured by homework compliance and willingness to disclose lapses. Furthermore, participants within the approach-focused intervention were rated by therapist to be more genuinely motivated to live life without offending by the end of treatment. However, differences between the groups in terms of self-esteem change following treatment were not very marked. These results are discussed in terms of their implications for treatment delivery. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment Springer Journals

Approach Versus Avoidance Goals in Relapse Prevention with Sexual Offenders

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Publisher
Kluwer Academic Publishers-Plenum Publishers
Copyright
Copyright © 2004 by Plenum Publishing Corporation
Subject
Psychology; Sexual Behavior; Psychiatry; Clinical Psychology; Criminology and Criminal Justice, general
ISSN
1079-0632
eISSN
1573-286X
D.O.I.
10.1023/B:SEBU.0000006285.73534.57
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Relapse prevention (RP) plays a major role in the vast number of treatment programs for sexual offenders. However, despite its widespread application, questions have been raised regarding the uncritical adoption of the approach (R. K. Hanson, 1996). More specifically, the way in which it is presented to sexual offenders has been criticized for being unhelpfully negative in focus (Mann, 2000) and it has been suggested that treatment should adopt a broader focus on improving quality of life (T. Ward and C. A. Stewart, 2003), with the expectation that recidivism would reduce as a side-effect. The current study evaluated two orientations to relapse prevention, comparing a deliberately positively-focused orientation, focusing on creating a “good life,” to the more traditional approach that focuses on avoiding and controlling risk factors. Twenty-four participants completed an approach-focused RP intervention and 23 completed an avoidance-focused RP intervention. Results indicated that participants who completed the approach-focused intervention had a greater engagement in treatment as measured by homework compliance and willingness to disclose lapses. Furthermore, participants within the approach-focused intervention were rated by therapist to be more genuinely motivated to live life without offending by the end of treatment. However, differences between the groups in terms of self-esteem change following treatment were not very marked. These results are discussed in terms of their implications for treatment delivery.

Journal

Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and TreatmentSpringer Journals

Published: Sep 30, 2004

References

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