In Puritan America, a married woman’s illicit affair with a minister landed her in jail. After her release, Hester Prynne was sentenced to forever wear a big red “A” on her dress. 

Nearly 375 years later, the U.S. continues to be scandalized, tantalized and perplexed by sex, especially about sex offenders. Tough on crime, we’re still struggling to learn: 

  • Why domestic violence and incest are so under-reported by victims? 
  • Why most people think every sexual offender is a serial rapist? 
  • Why, even among therapists, many continue to believe sex-offenders to be untreatable? 
  • Why supervision after offenders’ release tends to-wards punitive rather than restorative? 

It’s time to bring the subject of sex crime out of the dark ages, time to help victims shed the shame and trauma of their experience. It’s also time to allow offenders an opportunity to show they can change, make amends and start to earn back trust and acceptance from society.

Treatment & Practice

Treatment & Practice

Sex offender treatment begins with honesty. Then trust builds. From there, we discover things that might help to reestablish hope on the part of the client. Most come from prison with a deep cloak of shame, a belief that they will never again be granted access to community as an equal partner. Unfortunately, many in the public would echo that sentiment.

Part of developing hope begins with clients finding out the things he or she wants out of their life. We start with small, achievable goals. The first is to take responsibility for the injury they have caused.

Next is to learn to more objectively see themselves without the overlay of victim, persecutor or rescuer. Being a clear-headed observer of their behavior means that, one day, they will be their own best therapist. That is my goal for them. And that is my goal for everyone…the treatment I lead clients through would be beneficial for any adolescent or adult.

 

The Bias Against Sex Offenders

Who Are the Offenders?

Who Are the Offenders?