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Emotional Restitution Training in Social Responsibility Therapy for Sex Offender Referrals (From Handbook of Sex Offender Treatment, P 56-1 - 56-19, 2011, Barbara K. Schwartz, ed. - See NCJ-243091)

NCJ Number
James M. Yokley, Ph.D.
Date Published
19 pages
This chapter describes emotional restitution training (ERT), a research-informed treatment protocol with the basic treatment goals of helping sex offenders develop an understanding of the impact of their abusive behavior on their victims and make "emotional restitution" to the victim.
ERT consists of eight consecutive cognitive-behavioral interventions on two separate levels. The first level involves offenders assuming their social responsibility in learning the impact of their behavior on the victim and to develop victim empathy. This prepares them to demonstrate their social responsibility to make genuine emotional restitution during the second level. Level one consists of four interventions. In one intervention, the offender reads newspaper articles that describe the impact of sexual abuse on survivors. In the second intervention, the therapist reads to the offender several letters in which survivors describe the impact of their victimization. In the third intervention, offenders observe an emotional videotape that documents the impact of sexual abuse on real-life survivors; and in the fourth intervention, a sexual assault victim unknown to the offender describes the impact of her victimization. Level two also consists of four interventions. One intervention involves offenders writing an apology/clarification letter to an individual other than their direct survivor, who has also been affected by the offense, usually parents or significant others. A second intervention consists of a personal apology and clarification of the offender's problem and reasons for their abusive behavior written to an indirect survivor of the offense. The seventh and eighth interventions consist of letters of apology and clarification to the actual victim, expressing regret and explaining problems underlying his abusive behavior. Safety precautions for the survivor that accompany these interventions are summarized. 40 references