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NCJ Number: 199856 Find in a Library
Title: Predicting Psychological Distress in Sex Offender Therapists
Journal: Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment  Volume:15  Issue:2  Dated:April 2003  Pages:149-157
Author(s): Liam Ennis; Sharon Horne
Date Published: April 2003
Page Count: 9
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: Netherlands
Annotation: This study examined the degree to which sex offender therapists suffered from psychological distress as a result of their work.
Abstract: There is a great deal of literature devoted to the examination of the psychological distress in therapists who work with victims of sexual abuse. This literature focuses on the trauma experienced by these therapists who are exposed to vivid accounts of sexual violence and abuse. Despite this focus on therapist trauma, there is scant research concerning the trauma experienced by therapists who work with the sexual offenders themselves. As such, the current study sought to add some much needed knowledge to this area by conducting an exploratory investigation of the experience of psychological distress among this population of sex offender therapists. A self-report questionnaire was completed by 59 sex offender therapists, which focused on symptoms of posttraumatic stress and their perceptions of family and peer support. Included in the questionnaire were measures of the number of hours devoted to sex offender treatment and the amount of clinical supervision they engaged in on a weekly basis. Results of statistical analyses revealed low levels of both general and trauma-related stress. There was also no significant relation between number of hours devoted to sex offender treatment and the experience of psychological distress. However, greater perceptions of peer support were significantly correlated with lower levels of psychological distress and posttraumatic stress symptoms. In conclusion, the authors suggest the importance of formal and informal peer support networks in the contribution of effective self-care among sex offender therapists. Tables, references
Main Term(s): Peer counseling; Positive peer culture; Post-trauma stress disorder (PTSD)
Index Term(s): Psychology; Sex offender treatment
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