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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 210100 Find in a Library
Title: What Happens in Therapy with Sexual Offenders?: A Model of Process Research
Journal: Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment  Volume:17  Issue:2  Dated:April 2005  Pages:141-151
Author(s): Friedemann Pfafflin; Mechthild Bohmer; Stephanie Cornehl; Erhard Mergenthaler
Date Published: April 2005
Page Count: 11
Type: Report (Study/Research) ; Test/Measurement
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article reports on two studies (one single case and one comparative study) that examined change processes within individual therapy sessions for sexual offenders as well as over the course of treatment.
Abstract: The analysis focused on the application of the Therapeutic Cycle Model (TCM), developed by Mergenthaler (1996, 1997), to a single case (Study 1, Bohmer, 2000) and to a comparison of transcripts from psychotherapies of eight sexual offenders with those of eight neurotic patients (Study 2, Cornehl, 2000). Developed for verbal psychotherapies, the TCM measures two change agents that are related to emotional and cognitive regulation and are operationalized as the amount of emotion and abstraction in psychotherapy transcripts. Depending on the amount of expression of these two factors, four different emotion/abstraction patterns can be identified: "Relaxing" (low emotion and low abstraction); "Reflecting" (high abstraction without emotional involvement); "Experiencing" (high emotional involvement with little reflection); and "Connecting" (high emotional involvement and abstraction). The objectives of the current analysis are to demonstrate the sensitivity of the TCM for sexual offender patients and to identify specific emotional and cognitive properties for this group compared to neurotic patients. In Study 1, 62 consecutive psychotherapy sessions with a single client were audio-taped and transcribed, covering a treatment period of approximately 1.5 years, with a frequency of 1 session per week. The database for Study 2 consisted of transcripts of three consecutive cognitive-behavior psychotherapy sessions with eight male sexual offenders (child abusers) detained under court order in a high security forensic psychiatric clinic. Similarly, transcripts from three consecutive psychodynamic therapy sessions with eight male neurotic outpatients were used for comparative purposes. The findings show the sensitivity of the TCM for sexual offender patients and its ability to distinguish between emotion/abstraction patterns of sexual offenders and neurotic patients under similar treatment therapies. 4 figures and 19 references
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Instrument validation; Sex offender treatment; Sex offenders; Testing and measurement; Treatment effectiveness; Treatment techniques
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