Working Positively With Sexual Offenders
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In this article, the authors draw on literatures outside sexual offending and make suggestions for working more positively and constructively with these offenders. Although the management of risk is a necessary feature of treatment, it needs to occur in conjunction with a strength-based approach. An exclusive focus on risk can lead to overly confrontational therapeutic encounters, a lack of rapport between offenders and clinicians, and fragmented and mechanistic treatment delivery. The authors suggest that the goals of sexual offender treatment should be the attainment of good lives, which is achieved by enhancing hope, increasing self-esteem, developing approach goals, and working collaboratively with the offenders. Examples are provided of how these targets may be met. When this is done within a therapeutic context where the treatment providers display empathy and warmth and are rewarding and directive, the authors suggest that treatment effects will be maximized.
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