Sex Offenders: A Case Study

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Sexual assault is an epidemic that affects a tremendous number of people in the United States. According to a 2010 survey conducted by the Center for Disease Control, 18.3% of women and 1.4% of men report experiencing rape at some point in their lives (Black et al., 2011). If convicted, the perpetrators of these crimes will often be mandated to undergo treatment as a means to lower their chance of re-offending. However, current models of sex offender treatment are not particularly effective, reducing recidivism by only 10% (Shingler, 2004). Lowering the recidivism rate for sex offenders is a matter of public safety, and therefore it is of vital importance that mental health practitioners and researchers continue to search for more effective treatment modalities. …show more content…
In treatment, the most common diagnoses for sex offenders are paraphilias, personality disorders, and substance use disorders (Jackson & Richards, 2007). Becker, Stinson, Tromp, and Messer (2003) estimate that as many as 80% of sex offenders meet the criteria for a diagnosable personality disorder.
There has been very little evaluation of the use of dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) with sex offenders, but some researchers and practitioners are beginning to promote the inclusion of DBT elements into standard cognitive behavioral sex offender treatment and at least one high-volume sexual offender treatment program has switched to DBT as its primary treatment modality (Servos, 2008). This paper will review the literature on adapting DBT into a sex offender treatment, evaluate the evidence for DBT’s effectiveness with this population, and further reflect on the utility of DBT in sex offender

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