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Working with Juvenile Sexual Offenders Differences from Adults and Special Considerations Donya L. Adkerson, MA, LCPC Alternatives Counseling, Inc. 2005.

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Presentation on theme: "Working with Juvenile Sexual Offenders Differences from Adults and Special Considerations Donya L. Adkerson, MA, LCPC Alternatives Counseling, Inc. 2005."— Presentation transcript:

1 Working with Juvenile Sexual Offenders Differences from Adults and Special Considerations Donya L. Adkerson, MA, LCPC Alternatives Counseling, Inc. 2005

2 Not Just Younger Adults Things to keep in mind: PMuch less is known from research on JSOs than with ASOs PWhat we know for sure about ASOs does not necessarily apply to JSOs PAdolescence as a developmental stage goes into the early 20s PResearch does suggest that intervention is MORE EFFECTIVE with JSOs than adults

3 Practical Differences with JSOs PThere will be a legal guardian involved who can help or may hurt the intervention process PJSOs may not be in control of simple things, like getting to therapy on time, or at all PJSOs more likely to have continued contact with their victims that is out of their control (e.g., in home or at same school)

4 Practical Differences with JSOs PSchool and family systems often provide complications not faced with adults PJSOs may view adults as an alien species PImpulsivity, questionable judgement, and testing rules and limits are all normal and expected annoyances to some degree PWide variation among youth requires flexibility for maximum effectiveness

5 Group Issues with JSOs Caution is needed PPeers can have greater power over youth than the adults in group

6 Additional differences in working with JSOs  Things change RAPIDLY B risk other assessments are very time-limited in their useful validity PSexual arousal patterns less fixed PLevel of sexual focus may be high due to hormones rather than compulsion PFactual knowledge of human sexuality may be poor, misinformation is common

7 Additional differences in working with JSOs PThere may be pressure from family to deny even normal sexual interest or behavior, not just the offending PThe younger the JSO the more likely a victimization history is plying a role in the offending PCurrent hidden victimization is a risk

8 Finding a Balance Safety Planning vs. Normal development PJSOs need normal developmental experiences to develop a healthy lifestyle and the social skills and confidence they will need to help them avoid offending in the future. PNormal developmental experiences may bring risks or opportunities to offend. PBalancing these potential conflicts must be a case-by-case decision.

9 JSOs & the School Case by case decisions PNot all JSOs pose a risk at school PSchools may overreact PSchools MUST be involved when there is any identified potential for offending at school

10 JSOs and work Common issues PNO BABYSITTING!

11 Other environments to consider Case by case PAfter school programs PSports & recreational activities

12 Treatment Tasks With JSOs PRemediate skill deficits that interfere with successful functioning, such as

13 Treatment Tasks With JSOs PDevelop positive and prosocial sexuality

14 Treatment Tasks With JSOs PIdentify family issues or dysfunction that trigger, support, or fail to inhibit the offending behaviors PWork with youth and family system for successful reintegration, when clinically appropriate

15 Family Reintegration Work should include PSuccessful progress of the offender in his/her treatment PTherapy including the offender an family PTherapy for the victim (individual and family) PSupervised visits transitioning to successful unsupervised visits PProgression from apology to reconciliation to reunification

16 Treatment Tasks With JSOs PPrepare the youth for successful reintegration into the community

17 Treatment Tasks With JSOs PInvolve the youth in Arestorative activities to make amends, such as

18 Treatment Tasks With JSOs PAddress other clinical needs

19 Treatment modalities that may be used for intervention with JSOs Include PIndividual PGroup PFamily PMilieu (for residential settings) PMulti-systemic

20 Individual Therapy PBenefits

21 Individual Therapy PLimitations

22 Choose Individual Therapy When PClient cannot follow group process (due to age, severe developmental delay, active psychosis) PIntensive trauma recovery work PUnique clinical need is not shared by other group members PTo address severe anxiety or depression PNo group is available

23 Individual may be used very effectively as an adjunct to group Some uses for adjunctive Individual therapy include PTeaching specific tasks (i.e., ammonia aversion) PHandling reactive depressions PReinforcing & clarifying concepts for cognitively slower youth PTreating PTSD symptoms

24 can cover a wide range of people

25 Roadblocks presented by Caretakers Can impede the progress of the JSO PDenial & Minimization

26 Roadblocks presented by Caretakers PUnhealthy

27 Family Involvement may be critical Possible ways include PFamily education PFamily therapy PEducational groups PSupervised visitation POther means of involvement

28 Family Therapy PBenefits

29 Family Therapy PLimitations PFamily secrets (e.g., undisclosed parental offending or parental trauma history)) can undermine the therapy and increase stress on client and sibs  It can be damaging to victim if family therapy undertaking without victim treatment, appropriate work for parent=s support of victim, or if sibs are blaming victim

30 Choose family therapy when PParents need better understanding or skills relating the abuse problem PFamily Reintegration is a goal POther family dysfunction is impacting the client PCommunication skills or family relationships need strengthening

31 Family Therapy is Contraindicated When PA parent is an untreated offender PThe victim is in the family and has not had victim treatment OR the abuser is not yet fully honest/accountable about the offending

32 Group Therapy PBenefits

33 Group Therapy PLimitations PNot all clients capable of following group process

34 Typical goals of Group JSO therapy include PSocial skills PCycle work PChanging cognitions PLearning practical skills & strategies PDevelop motivation POn-going assessment of client

35 Choose Group Therapy Whenever PClient has capacity to interact, follow a group process PTreatment needs are within norms for the population

36 Types of Interventions that Utilized in Group include PEducation PCorrection PModeling PReinforcing PConsequences PFacilitating peer Intervention

37 External Controls Are a form of therapeutic intervention PSupervision

38 Multi-systemic Therapy Research-proven value with criminal youth PA combination of interventions, including therapy, family intervention, and community interventions

39 Helpful Skills for JSO therapy Group or individual PListen carefully and hear what is behind the words PRead body language PCommunicate

40 Helpful Skills for JSO therapy Group or individual PKnow your subject

41 Treatment traps In JSO work In any modality PPower struggles PWasting time PToo much personal disclosure PPersonalizing

42 Treatment traps In JSO work In any modality PSide-stepping sex PEroticizing material PReacting to the offense (rather than to victim harm) PFailing to connect back to offending

43 Treatment traps In JSO work In any modality PToo much belief or trust of self-report

44 Treatment traps In JSO work In group therapy PIgnoring the silent PABeating a dead PInappropriate modeling

45 Treatment traps In JSO work In group therapy PMonopolizing the group PGiving up control of the group


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