April 30, 2011
Dr. Susan Kinsella
I chose to observe a sex offenders group at office of an association of licensed professional counselors in Hinesville, Georgia. The group consisted of 9 sex offenders and the counselor, who was a woman, and myself. The group meet in the evening and everyone was present and on time. We sat in a circle, and I was introduced. I had to sign a confidentiality agreement, and the guys signed something stating they didn’t mind my being there. There were no introductions, as everyone knew each other. Group therapy is seen as the most appropriate form of treatment in the United States. The rationale for this is the argument that sex offenders require group therapy because effective confrontation of manipulative behavior can only be done by other individuals who have been through the same dynamic. Groups are seen as necessary and appropriate for all sexual offenders, regardless of their individual personalities and the factors underlying their abusive behavior (Grossman, Martis, & Fichter, 1999).
Psychological treatment of sex offenders showed little success until the advent of cognitive-behavioral techniques which have undergone rapid development over the past two decades. CBT was primarily developed through a merging of behavior therapy with cognitive therapy. While rooted in rather different theories, these two traditions found common ground in focusing on the "here and now", and on alleviating symptoms. The goal of these treatments is to change sex offenders' belief systems, eliminate inappropriate behavior, and increase appropriate behavior by modifying reinforcement contingencies so that offensive behavior is no longer reinforced (What is CBT, 2007).
CT intervention methods include helping clients learns to identify the negative, automatic thoughts that occur in upsetting situations, to examine their validity, and to replace them with more useful, reality based thinking....