How is treatment different for the sex offender versus the sex addict?
Treatment for the sex offender is vastly different. Most Certified Sex Addiction Therapists have not received training in the specialized treatment of sex offenders. Sex offender behaviours, in addition to causing significant harms on victims, have severe legal consequences. A sex offender’s treatment involves deliberate, consistent, confrontational interventions on the part of the provider to break through harmful and resilient patterns of thoughts and behaviours which have become highly resistant to correction. Lack of self-awareness, insight, and conscience are typical characteristics of individuals classified as a sex offender.
Sex addiction therapists are trained to assess for the origins of historical sexual trauma in the individual resulting in conscionable and yet unwanted thoughts and behaviours in the present individuated self of the client. Treatment for the sex addict involves long-term (3 to 5 year) therapeutic interventions utilizing assessment, neurocognitive rehabilitation, and extensive inventory of destructive patterns of thoughts and behaviours through cognitive behavioural processing and restructuring. Capacity or readiness for self-awareness, insight, and conscience are often characteristic of individuals classified as a sex addict.