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Courage, curiosity, engagement – group psychotherapy with sexual offenders sentenced to forensic psychiatric care

Courage, curiosity, engagement – group psychotherapy with sexual offenders sentenced to forensic psychiatric care

The aim of this study was to examine how rapists and child-molesters experienced group-therapeutic treatment inside a forensic psychiatric clinic and the group-therapists’ experiences;  which factors were helpful in treatment.
Empirical data consisted of audio-taped, transcribed, and demasked individual and focus-group interviews with group members as well as with therapists. The transcripts were analyzed according to both inductive and deductive thematic analysis (Braun & Clarke, 2006).
A recurrent theme was the group-members’ wish to have therapists whom were open about themselves, cared, dared to ask and listen, trusted in the group-members’ capacity to change, and allowed the members to talk about their perpetrations. These components resulted in a group-climate characterized by trust, honesty, and coherence. Furthermore, the group-members wanted deepened discussions about consequences for victims.
Recommendations: It seems that important factors in treatment of sex offenders are the therapists’ ability to be flexible, able to contain “disgusting” material, and offer an opportunity to repair internal working models.

References: Braun, V., & Clarke, V. (2006). Using thematic analysis in psychology. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 3, 77-101.

Speakers: Nina Möller
Conference: WAS Goteberg 2009
Areas of Interest / Categories: WAS 2009

WAS 2009

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