Monday, November 25, 2013

The Effectiveness of Sex Offender Treatment Programs

TherapistOriginal Article


In January of 1989, before the sex offender hysteria hit the legislative sector of our country, a study was conducted entitled ‘Sex Offender Recidivism a Review‘, by the noted researchers L. Furby, M.R.Weinroth, and L. Blackshaw. Although the primary purpose of this study was to try and determine the actual recidivism of people who are involved in sex crimes what it secondarily discovered was the effectiveness of treatment programs or lack thereof I should say in reducing recidivism.. Realize that today most treatment programs that use behavior modification follow the same type of guidelines that were used during this time. They were basically drug and alcohol programs that were modified to treat people with what therapists perceived as sexual control problems.

Just exactly what is behavior modification treatment? It is the traditional term for the use of behavior altering techniques to increase or decrease the frequency of behaviors, such as altering an individual’s behaviors and reactions to stimuli through positive and negative reinforcement. Such as the reduction of deviant behavior by using various punishments like shame and guilt as reinforcers. Behavior modification is now known as Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and used in sex offender treatment programs it takes on a Clockwork Orange type of conditioning. Up to and including ammonium nitrate and electric shock, conditioning. One important thing to note about the various behavioral therapies is that unlike some other types of therapy that are rooted in insight, such as psychoanalytic and humanistic therapies, behavioral therapy is action based. The problem is that Behavioral therapists focus on their perceptions of how a person should act. That is not based on any empirical data, and among other things uses aggressive confrontational therapy to force their viewpoints upon their clients. This is extremely true in cases where courts order treatment without knowing if the program is going to have a positive or negative consequences for the participants.

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