This paper describes one of the first systematic focused attempts to elicit the views of sexual offenders about the treatment that they have received. The paucity of previous research in this area is suggested to be the result of negative societal attitudes towards sexual offenders, as exemplified by recent tabloid newspaper coverage of this population. It is suggested that these attitudes may have a negative impact upon the attitudes of clinicians and researchers, and thus upon the treatment offered to this client group. Therefore, it is argued that seeking the views of the clients is essential in order to ensure that treatment is relevant and reflexive, and promotes relapse prevention. A questionnaire was distributed to participants who had completed treatment groups run by the Psychology Service at a Regional Secure Unit and at a Probation Service Sexual Offender Unit. The questionnaire aimed to elicit their views of the group experience, including issues to do with programme structure and content, group process, and therapeutic style of group facilitators. The results (including a pilot study) indicated that, on the whole, participants' experiences of the group were positive, for example aspects of the group process, understanding and preventing reoffending. Some suggestions for the modification and development of future sexual offender treatment are outlined, based on the feedback from subjects, for example, consideration of alternative treatment modalities, enhancing the content of group sessions, improving the organization of groups and modifying the training of groups leaders.
Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 29, 2004
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