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Treating Sex Offenders Using the Sex Addiction Model

NCJ Number
Sexual Addiction & Compulsivity Volume: 6 Issue: 4 Dated: 1999 Pages: 281-288
Timothy M. Tays; Ralph H. Earle; Ken Wells; Marilyn Murray; Brenda Garrett
Patrick J. Carnes
Date Published
8 pages
The authors believe that using the sex addiction model in treating sex offense behavior strengthens other proven modalities by addressing core issues that fuel such unhealthy behavior.
Not all sex offenders are sex addicts, and vice versa, and the definition of a sex offense is a legal rather than a psychological one. Nonetheless, much sexual addictive behavior is offensive, and the need for greater amounts of sexual experiences may place the sex addict at increasingly greater risk of crossing the legal boundary. As a result, the sex addiction model should be used in treating sex offenders. The authors believe that long-term relapse prevention can better occur by improving patients' understanding of themselves and the etiology of their disorder, in addition to eliciting genuine changes in behavior, cognition, and emotion. Although the authors focus on behavioral change and relapse prevention, the addiction model addresses the issue of sexual compulsivity from a perspective that incorporates the spiritual component as a foundation for all other modalities. This integration of various therapeutic modalities and techniques better ensures positive long-term outcomes. 13 references