Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment [saj] pp916-sebu-469144 July 16, 2003 13:50 Style ﬁle version Nov 28th, 2002
Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment, Vol. 15, No. 4, October 2003 (
Who Cares? The Views of Sexual Offenders
About the Group Treatment They Receive
Daniel T. Wilcox,
and David Middleton
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 neg-
ative 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, par-
ticipants’ experiences of the group were positive, for example aspects of the group
process, understanding and preventing reoffending. Some suggestions for the mod-
iﬁcation 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.
KEY WORDS: sexual offenders; group treatment; evaluation; probation.
Clinical Psychology Department, Regional ForensicPsychiatryService,ReasideClinic,Birmingham,
West Midlands Probation Service Sexual Offender Unit, Selly Oak, Birmingham, England.
To whom correspondence should be addressed at Clinical Psychology Department, Regional Foren-
sic Psychiatry Service, Reaside Clinic, Birmingham Great Park, Bristol Road South, Birmingham,
England B45 9BE, United Kingdom; e-mail: email@example.com.
2003 Plenum Publishing Corporation