Counseling & Therapy
What Is A Typical Session Like
Group therapy is the primary treatment component for most sex offenders. Group allows them the opportunity to give and receive feedback to and from their peers. Using cognitive behavioral therapy as a model, It encourages each group member to challenge each other’s cognitive distortions and to present alternatives. Each group is different and has its own personality, so to speak. Some groups are self-starting and self-sustaining in terms of content and discussion. Other groups are led more by the counselor. Again, each one seems to have its own personality.
Typically, the group has been heading in a particular direction for a period of time. Group always starts with a “check-in” to give clients the opportunity to discuss any problems or successes they have had since the last group meeting. Sometimes this becomes the group topic, depending on how related the issue is to the direction of the group. If not, the facilitator will introduce the topic and, generally, discussion follows from that point. Identifying and correcting cognitive distortions, developing alternatives to problem behaviors, emotional regulation and social interest are the main issues that are discussed within the context of the topics.
Individual and family therapy are also used. The frequency of these services are determined by need. Individual therapy is also conducted within the framework of cognitive behavioral therapy and is used to dig deeper into issues and problems that may not have been discussed in group sessions or to address specific issues that may need to be kept out of the group discussions.
Sometimes relationship problems are evident still at other times, offenders need help discussing what they actually did to victims — it is not uncommon for family members to believe the convicted offender is innocent. This is sometimes a very difficult process.
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